Coast Guard coordinates multiple rescues in Micronesia

Hawaii-Pacific Coast Guard NewsHONOLULU — The Coast Guard and partner agencies responded and assisted in several rescue cases within the Federated States of Micronesia over a two week period.

The rescue cases all involved overdue vessels in and around Weno, Chuuk State and Pohnpei with multiple agencies assisting in the search efforts.

“These types of situations are what we prepare for,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Williams, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center command duty officer. “We consistently train in order to oversee such a large area of operation and to maintain our ability to effectively respond to emergencies with our partner agencies.”

On May 4, Coast Guard Forces Micronesia | Sector Guam watchstanders received notification from the Department of Public Safety in Chuuk State about an overdue vessel with two people aboard en route from Weno to Paata in Chuuk Atoll.

Upon notification, Coast Guard watchstanders deployed multiple Coast Guard assets while coordinating with the Chuuk Department of Public Safety as they deployed four boats to investigate in and around the atoll. The Chuuk National Police and the Emergency Operations Center also joined in the search along with citizens in the area.

After a combined effort over the span of multiple days, the two missing mariners were found and confirmed to be in stable condition on May 9 on Tamatam Island 120 nautical miles west of Weno, Chuuk State.

The following day, Coast Guard watchstanders received an email from the Department of Public Safety in Pohnpei indicating that four fishermen were overdue after a fishing trip aboard a 19-foot skiff.

After receiving the overdue skiff’s last known coordinates, Coast Guard watchstanders took initial action and communicated with the Pohnpei State Depart of Public Safety who later discovered that the overdue vessel was found by a good samaritan nearly seven hours later with all four fishermen in stable condition.

That very same day, Coast Guard watchstanders received a phone call from a local stating that her two brothers were overdue after they failed to return after going on a one-day fishing trip in the Chuuk Lagoon two days prior.

Coast Guard assets were deployed as Chuuk authorities actively searched inside the Chuuk Lagoon, later finding the two missing fishermen in stable condition on Etten Island two days after the initial notification.

“Robust lines of communication with our partner agencies is essential in making sure our response to cases like these are as efficient and effective as possible,” said Capt. Nick Simmons, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Forces Micronesia | Sector Guam. “Thanks to our long-standing relationships throughout the Pacific, we have the ability to maximize our collective capabilities to protect and safeguard the citizens of these islands.”

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