The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue partners, coordinated in the rescue of 10 crewmembers forced to abandon ship due to a shipboard fire 700 miles west of Guam Saturday.
Coast Guard Sector Guam watchstanders received an initial alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon from the Hsin Man Chun, a 70-foot Taiwanese fishing vessel, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Watchstanders then received a call from rescue coordination center Taipei, China reporting that a sister ship of the Hsin Man Chun received a radio call indicating the crew was planning to abandon ship.
A Navy P-3 Orion long-range search aircraft from Patrol Squadron 1 stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, overflew the vessel and reported eight crewmembers in a life raft and two more on the bridge of the burning vessel. The P-3 crew deployed two life rafts to assist the crewmembers that remained behind. They passed the location of the distressed crewmembers to the Semirio, a Marshallese flagged bulk carrier diverted to the area by the Coast Guard.
The Semirio was only 40 miles away from the distressed vessel and was asked to assist. Once on scene, the 950-foot bulk carrier launched a small boat and successfully rescued all 10 crewmembers. The Semirio is one of many foreign flagged vessels operating in the Pacific that voluntarily participate in the AMVER System.
AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. 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.