Coast Guard searching for man overboard from cruise ship bound for Japan

HONOLULU – The U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating a search for a crew member from the cruise ship Pacific Venus, which was transiting south of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands this past weekend on its way back to Japan.

The 24-year-old crew member was first reported overboard at approximately 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 20, after he failed to show up for his post aboard the ship. The Pacific Venus’ captain called the Coast Guard in Honolulu at 5 p.m. Saturday, to report the missing crew member and to say the ship had turned around to look for him.

The 550-foot cruise ship was approximately 300 miles southwest of Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands when it made its report. The cruise ship was returning to Yokohama, Japan, after a stop in Honolulu. The cruise ship spent several hours Saturday afternoon before sunset looking for him in a position where he was last known to have been aboard the ship.

An air crew aboard a C-130 long-range search aircraft was airborne from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at 5 a.m. HST Sunday, Feb. 21, to reach the crewmember’s last known position and searched for three hours before returning to base. A second aircrew aboard second C-130 was airborne at 11 a.m. HST and searched for five hours before landing for the night at Midway, a former U.S. Navy base and now a U.S. Fish and Wildlife national wildlife refuge.

The Coast Guard routinely stages from Midway on search and rescue cases in and near the remote Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. A Good Samaritan vessel, the Japanese training sailing vessel Nippon Maru, answered a call to help through the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) program, and is on scene searching.

The Pacific Venus has notified the missing crewmember’s family in Japan.

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