Coast Guard suspends search for overdue fishing boat near Majuro

This image is of 82-foot fishing vessel Clear Water 02. Coast Guard aircraft and good Samaritan vessels are searching for the vessel and its nine crew members after it failed to return to port. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

The fishing vessel Clear Water 02. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

HONOLULU – The Coast Guard suspended the search Saturday for an overdue 83-foot commercial fishing vessel near the Republic of Marshall Islands.

Fishing vessel Clear Water 02 reportedly went missing with nine people aboard while en route Majuro for offload, March 12.

“Suspending a search is never an easy decision and is only done after intense scrutiny and evaluation of our search efforts as a whole,” said Lt. Justin Gear, JRCC Honolulu command duty officer. “We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the missing crew.”

A Coast Guard aircraft searched 49,837 square miles totaling 44 search hours. Ten good Samaritan vessels also assisted in search efforts. A Navy P-3 Orion airplane from U.S. Navy 7th Fleet searched Thursday and Friday covering an additional 8,747 square miles.

Sunday, good Samaritan vessels recovered 34 fishing floats labeled “CW02” 224 miles east of Majuro. Two life rings marked “Clearwater 02” were located by one of the fishing vessels searching 114 miles south east of Kwajalein on Tuesday and Friday.

At 5:26 p.m. March 12, watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received notification from the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Majuro after the vessel failed to return to port as scheduled. An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at 8:39 p.m. March 12.

Clear Water 02 is a Federated States of Micronesia flagged vessel with one Marshallese and eight Chinese nationals aboard.

The 14th Coast Guard District encompasses an area of 12.2 million square miles of the Central and South Pacific. Coast Guard aircraft based in Hawaii frequently travel thousands of miles in response to search and rescue and other calls for assistance.

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