US Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue crew of sinking fishing vessel off Hawaii

A US Coast Guard HC-130J Hercules maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The US Coast Guard and Good Samaritans aboard two commercial fishing vessels located and rescued the crew of a commercial fishing vessel 545 miles (877 kilometres) southwest of Hawaii on Friday, March 3.

The six crewmembers of the longliner Sea Smile are reportedly in good condition and are making their way to Honolulu aboard the commercial fishing vessel Captain Minh.

At 18:46 local time on Thursday, March 2, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu (JRCC) watchstanders received a report from the owner of Sea Smile stating the vessel was disabled and taking on water. The crew reported that there was approximately five to seven feet (1.5 to two metres) of water in the engine room and fish holds, rising rapidly, and that they could not use dewatering pumps or systems due to a loss of power.

JRCC confirmed that there were enough personal floatation devices for all crewmembers as they prepared to abandon ship aboard a liferaft. JRCC instructed the captain to activate the vessel’s emergency position indicating radio, which successfully gave watchstanders their position.

JRCC launched the crew of an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 and pulled an Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) surface picture, which indicates the relative position of all AMVER-participating ships around a specific geographic point.

Once on scene, C-130 aircrews deployed two liferafts, two self-locating datum marker buoys, a VHF radio, survival gear and supplies, and a red flare to illuminate the area prior to departing the scene.

At approximately 00:00 on Friday, the AMVER vessel Ying Rong arrived on scene and took the crewmembers aboard their vessel and waited for the AMVER vessel Captain Minh for further transport to Honolulu.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!