Coast Guard confirms safety of overdue freighter following Hurricane Irma

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard confirmed the safety of the overdue Panamanian-flagged coastal freighter Princess Samiah Friday, following the passing of Hurricane Irma through the Caribbean.

The Princess Samiah reportedly departed Tuesday from Tortola, British Virgin Islands en-route the Caribbean island of Grenada, but the vessel did not arrive to its expected destination Thursday.

Watchstanders in Coast Guard Sector San Juan were initially contacted Thursday by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Fort de France and made aware of the overdue Princess Samiah.

Coast Guard watchstanders maintained coordination with MRCC Fort de France and Rescue Coordination Center Curacao, as they combined efforts to search and locate the overdue freighter.

Coast Guard watchstanders successfully made contact with the vessel owner Friday, who confirmed that the freighter was safely anchored off the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. All three crewmembers were reported to be safe with no injuries.

“This case displayed great coordination between our international partners in Fort De France, Curacao and Coast Guard watchstanders, who despite Hurricane Irma’s impact to the area, were able to locate and determine the safety of the vessel,” said Lt.j.g. Silvia Rodriguez, Sector San Juan Command Duty officer. “It’s highly important that vessels maintain their search and rescue equipment and register their EPIRB’s for their safety.”

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