US Coast Guard, partners rescue five mariners in Micronesian waters

Photo: US Coast Guard

US Coast Guard, US Air Force, and Federated States of Micronesia responders rescued five mariners in the vicinity of Houk Island, Chuuk, on Saturday, March 13.

At 19:15 local time on Friday, March 12, Joint Rescue Sub-Center Guam received notification of a seven-metre skiff with five men on board that was overdue from a fishing trip.

Upon notification, JRSC watchstanders issued a SafetyNet broadcast to mariners. Watchstanders deployed an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Hawaii, diverted the coast guard cutter Myrtle Hazard, and began querying possible volunteer commercial Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) System vessels and partners in the area to assist with the search.

At 11:15 on Saturday, March 13, an Andersen Air Force Base KC-135 Stratotanker crew located the overdue skiff 80 kilometres southwest of the Polusuk Atoll. The KC-135 remained on scene until an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircrew arrived and deployed a search and rescue kit with food, water, and handheld radios.

The crew of the Panamanian-flagged vehicle carrier Hoegh Brasilia later arrived on-scene and rescued the mariners, who had been missing for three days.

JRSC directed the AMVER vessel to proceed towards Houk Island and remain off-shore overnight. The next morning, Myrtle Hazard escorted the skiff back to Houk Island safely.

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