Seven fishermen safe after being rescued in South Pacific

File photo of an HC-130 from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point

File photo of an HC-130 from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point

HONOLULU — Seven fishermen are safe, Wednesday, after their Japanese-flagged 50-foot fishing boat, the Gyotoku Maru No. 1, reportedly capsized 218 miles southwest of Palau.

The fishermen were rescued and transferred safely by another fishing vessel to General Santos, Philippines.

“We’re incredibly relieved these men are safe and back on dry land,” said Lt. Cmdr. Josh Empen, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Guam. “Special thanks to all our partners with the Department of Defense, Japanese coast guard, the government of Palau, Pacific Mission Aviation and AMVER who quickly brought their resources together in an effort to locate these fishermen in such a remote part of the Pacific.”

At 4:20 a.m., (Hawaii Standard Time), watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Guam received relayed notification from the Japanese coast guard regarding the current status of the Gyotoku Maru No. 1 fishermen.

The fishermen reported their vessel sank after a collision with another fishing vessel. All seven of the fishermen were rescued by crewmembers aboard the second fishing vessel and brought to the Philippines.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Guam initially received an emergency positioning indicating radio beacon alert hit at 9:18 p.m., Sunday (Hawaii Standard Time), alerting them to the possible distress situation prompting the search effort.

Sector Guam watchstanders confirmed an EPIRB hit and registration of the fishing vessel with the Mission Coordination Center in Japan.

The Gyotoku Maru No. 1 is reportedly a longline tuna vessel registered with the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The Coast Guard 14th District has responsibility for search and rescue across 12.2 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean to include the main Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa extending out in all directions. The Coast Guard is the world’s premier maritime search and rescue agency ready to answer the call for help, even in the vast and remote regions of the Pacific Ocean.

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