Coast Guard, AMVER vessel rescue 3 mariners, search continues for 3 more

130 Barbers PointHONOLULU — Coast Guard and AMVER crews rescued three mariners who had been missing for several days 200 miles northwest of Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati, Friday.

At 1 p.m., the motor vessel Woobong crew located the skiff with three men aboard outside of the designated search area while on their regular course. All three men were transferred safely aboard the Woobong and are reported to be in good condition.

Coast Guard Command Center Honolulu watchstanders and the Woobong crew are coordinating with Response Coordination Center Nadi in Fiji and officials in Tarawa to facilitate transfer of the mariners at the motor vessel’s next port of call.

The Coast Guard received notification from RCC Fiji the men were overdue by three days, Wednesday. An HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, Hawaii, was already in the region on another case and was directed to search for the mariners. The help of commercial mariners in the area was also enlisted through the AMVER system and the use of an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast.

The search continues for an additional three men aboard a 20-foot skiff reported overdue by RCC Fiji, Thursday, also on a fishing trip from Tarawa to Maiana. The Hercules crew and AMVER vessel crews are involved.

Mariners are reminded a properly registered electronic position indicating radio beacon can make a dramatic difference not only in being located, but in the amount of time spent at sea. EPIRBs use satellites, not line-of-site like VHF radios or cellular towers, increasing their range and reliability. They’re highly accurate and once activated provide rescuers with excellent location information for anyone in distress, significantly reducing on scene search time.

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

*Editor’s note: All dates and times are written in HST.*

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