Coast Guard Cutter assists crew of disabled vessel

USCG Cutter Assateague File Photo

HONOLULU — Crewmembers from Coast Guard Cutter Assateague assisted four people aboard a disabled vessel in the vicinity of Rota, Guam, Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Guam received a distress call at approximately 5 p.m. Sunday, from the Rota Department of Public Safety reporting a possible disabled vessel.

The call came after the master of the 25-foot recreational boat JP, contacted Rota’s 911 services via cell phone requesting immediate assistance. Rota DPS officials obtained the vessel’s name, length, general location, and nature of distress.

The Coast Guard Cutter Assateague, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Apra Harbor, and U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 both launched to locate the vessel.

Coast Guardsmen in the Sector Guam Command Center worked with Rota DPS and local cell phone provider iConnect to help triangulate the distress call and narrow the search area.

Crewmembers aboard HSC-25 located the JP about 6:30 p.m and directed the Assateague to them.

All four mariners were taken aboard the Assateague, and the vessel JP was towed to Rota. The vessel and its crew were later transferred to Rota DPS. All four people aboard the JP were found safe with no reported injuries.

The Coast Guard reminds mariners that cell phones should not be relied on as a primary means of emergency communication. Cell coverage off shore is not reliable and provides one-on-one communication. The Coast Guard recommends all mariners carry a VHF radio. Emergency broadcasts should be made on VHF channel 16 which can be received by all vessels or emergency responders within transmission range.

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