Illegal Migrants on Run from Grounded Vessel in Guam, No Pollution Threat

A Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel, approximately 50 feet in length, was reported aground March 25 in Guam.

URUNAO POINT, Guam — U.S. Coast Guard pollution investigators are keeping a close eye on a 50-foot Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel which ran aground on a reef between Urunao Point and Double Reef, Guam.

The grounded vessel was reported to the Coast Guard at 7:30 a.m. March 25.

There was a slight oil sheen reported at that time but it has since dissipated. Coast Guard pollution investigators will determine how much remaining fuel is aboard the vessel. A comprehensive search of nearby waters failed to turn up any persons in the water, but life vests were reported on the beach.

Eight of the suspected 14 crew members were taken into custody as possible undocumented aliens, according to the Guam Police Department. A manhunt for the remaining six crew members is underway in the nearby jungle.

The Coast Guard determined the missing six crew members were not still in the water.

“Our number one priority is safety of life at sea,” said Capt. Bill Marhoffer, the Coast Guard’s senior officer in Guam and the Captain of the Port, Guam. “Once it’s been determined it is no longer a search and rescue case, we work with our partner agencies to determine if there is an environmental hazard.”

Lt. Marcus Hirshberg, the supervisor of Coast Guard Guam’s 24-hour command center, said agents with several U.S. federal agencies, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Immigation and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are investigating the grounded vessel as an undocumented alien migration case.

The Coast Guard partnered with the U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 to determine there were no persons in the water from the grounded vessel. The Coast Guard continues to work with the Guam Police and Fire Departments, Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency, FBI, DEA, ICE and U.S. Navy on the search for the other crew members.

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3 Comments

  1. Ron Borison says:

    Has the Coast Guard been able to find out the name of this vessel? or the owners?

    Thanks,

    Ron Borison
    CDR, USCG (Ret)

  2. cgnews says:

    I’m sure they have but they haven’t announced it.

  3. Albert Borja says:

    Would anyone know the exact coordinates (decimal) of the wreck?