Coast Guard Cutter Kimball joins search for missing mariner off Guam

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball file photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir

Coast Guard Cutter Kimball file photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir

HONOLULU — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball (WMSL 756) has joined the search for a missing mariner from the fishing vessel Miyamaru No. 18, 722 miles southwest of Guam.

The mariner was last seen Sunday when he was witnessed attempting to swim between fishing vessels. Since then a search consisting of good Samaritans and international partners has been ongoing.

“We have been coordinating with the Japan Coast Guard, Australia, our Department of Defense partners, and good Samaritans aboard both fishing and commercial vessels in the area throughout the case,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tory Saxon, a search and rescue mission coordinator at Joint-Rescue Sub-Center Guam (JRSC). “When it comes to long range search and rescue operations such as this, our partnerships are vital because of the distances involved.”

At 11:30 p.m., Sunday, a mariner aboard the fishing vessel Miyamaru No. 18 was witnessed by his fellow crew members attempting to swim to a nearby fishing vessel. The crew lost sight of him and began searching the area. At 2:27 a.m., Monday, JRSC watchstanders received a report from the Japan Coast Guard notifying them of the situation.

JRSC Guam watchstanders issued an Safety Net broadcast to mariners and began reaching out to partners and Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) ships in the area to assist with the search.

The crew of the Kimball was also diverted from its patrol nearby and began making way to the search area. The cutter is one of the Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutters and has the ability to deploy Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems during search and rescue cases.

Involved in the search are:

  • A Navy P-8 Poseidon aircrew
  • An Australian Defence Forces P-8 Poseidon aircrew
  • The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball
  • Good Samaritans aboard 15 fishing vessels
  • JRSC Guam watchstanders
  • JRCC Honolulu watchstanders

The weather conditions on scene are winds of 20 mph and seas up to 4-6 feet.

AMVER is a world-wide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. Today, over 22,000 ships from hundreds of nations participate in AMVER.

*All times are in Hawaii Standard Time

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