US Coast Guard, good Samaritans rescue distressed fishermen off Palau

Image: US Coast Guard District 14
Image: US Coast Guard District 14

The US Coast Guard, US Air Force, and good Samaritans aboard a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier rescued eight mariners aboard an Indonesian-flagged fishing vessel approximately 276 kilometres northwest of Palau on Tuesday, August 13.

The crew of KM Aleluya had been adrift for 10 days without electricity, food, and water. News of their predicament reached responders from the crew of the Japanese fishing vessel Kinsei Maru No. 3, who rescued a KM Aleluya mariner.

When the KM Aleluya crew saw Kinsei Maru No. 3‘s lights on the horizon, they launched a motorboat with one man aboard to seek help.

The crew of Kinsei Maru No. 3 subsequently went searching for KM Aleluya but could not locate the vessel and had to depart due to worsening weather conditions.

The rescued mariner stated there were no injuries or significant medical concerns among KM Aleluya‘s crew.

Coast Guard Sector Guam watchstanders issued a SafetyNet broadcast seeking the assistance of any mariners in the area and diverted the crews of the Island-class cutter Kiska from Palau and a forward-deployed Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules maritime surveillance aircraft from Pohnpei to search.

The watchstanders also sought help from the US Air Force, who deployed a B-52 Stratofortress bomber from Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, to assist.

The sector Guam watchstanders were able to contact the crew of the Liberian-flagged Isl Star, who agreed to assist in the search.

Once the Hercules aircrew arrived on the scene, they quickly located KM Aleluya and dropped supplies to the crew. They then coordinated with the good Samaritans from Isl Star in the subsequent rescue of the eight mariners without further incident.

Isl Star will disembark the KM Aleluya crew in Palau.

Meanwhile, Kiska is currently en route to the abandoned KM Aleluya‘s location to investigate the situation and consider options for the future of the vessel.

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