AMVER ship rescues fishermen stranded for four days in Pacific

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(HONOLULU) (July 12) — Five men are safe Saturday after being after being stranded at sea in a 14-foot skiff since Wednesday.

The men were rescued by the crew of the motor vessel Shourong Harmony after an HC-130 Hercules air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point spotted the 14-foot aluminum skiff while searching 184 miles east northeast of Teraina Island, Kiribati.

The men were reported to be in good condition once they were rescued.

Watch standers at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center received notification at 4:37 p.m. Wednesday from the Rescue Coordination Center in Nandi, near Fiji, reporting an overdue skiff with five men aboard who had not returned after departing on a fishing trip from Teraina Island, Kiribati, Monday.

The men were in a skiff with no engines, little provisions and no lifesaving equipment.

After searching for several days with negative results, the Hercules air crew located the men at 4:15 p.m. Friday and dropped food, water, two VHF radios, a Coast Guard-issued personal location beacon, a signal mirror and flares to the skiff.

In conjunction with AMVER (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System), watch standers at the JRCC in Honolulu and the Kiribati search and rescue liaison coordinated two motor vessels, the Shourong Harmony and the Moamoa, to assist with the rescue of the men.

At 1:50 p.m., today, the men were successfully rescued by the Shourong Harmony. The Shourong Harmony is scheduled to rendezvous with the Moamoa to transfer the men where they will be taken back to Kiribati.

The distance from Honolulu to where the men were rescued is about 1,087 miles.

AMVER, sponsored by the Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

By Professional Mariner Staff