U.S. Coast Guard responding to disabled vessel’s crew

HONOLULU – U.S. Coast Guard crews are responding to a fishing vessel fire approximately 50 miles north of Kingman Reef.  The Rescue Coordination Center in Taiwan reported to Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center watchstanders here Monday at 7:30 a.m. that the 28-member crew of the Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 abandoned ship and are in two life rafts.

No injuries have been reported.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules search aircrew launched at approximately 10 a.m. Monday and arrived at the vessel’s last known position, 900 miles southwest of Honolulu, at approximately 1 p.m. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, is also en route as well as the Hou Chun 11’s sister ship, Shin Shun.

The arriving Coast Guard aircrew confirmed the two rafts at approximately 1:30 p.m., and they are scheduled to stay in the area until 5 p.m. A U.S. Navy P-3 aircrew is scheduled to relieve the Coast Guard aircrew at approximately 5:30 p.m. and will stay in the area until later this evening. A second Coast Guard flight is scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m. and stay on scene until the cutter Alex Haley arrives Tuesday morning.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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