Coast Guard, partners rescue 3 overdue mariners in Kiribati

Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft file photo (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josiah J. Kunkle)

Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft file photo (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josiah J. Kunkle)

HONOLULU — Coast Guard, Navy, and the merchant vessel Linnix rescued three overdue mariners in the vicinity of Christmas Island, Kiribati, Friday.

The crew of the merchant vessel Linnix rescued the mariners, last seen Aug. 6, and transported them back to Christmas Island.

“Through coordination with our Navy partners, we were able to save members of our Pacific community and bring them home to their families,” said Lt. j.g. Sarah Chen, a Joint Rescue Command Center Honolulu command duty officer. “It’s through these partnerships that we are able to increase the success of search and rescue missions.”

At 3:45 p.m., Sunday, JRCC watchstanders received notification of an overdue 18-foot aluminum skiff with three men onboard en route to fishing grounds off Christmas Island, Kiribati.

Upon notification, JRCC watchstanders provided a drift pattern to the search and rescue coordinator in Kiribati and deployed an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew. At 8:46 a.m., Thursday, a Navy P-8 Poseidon aircrew located the missing mariners 307 miles west of their original departure location.

“We are thankful we were able to assist in this rescue effort and grateful these mariners were returned safely,” said Capt. John Voorhees, the commander of Patrol Reconnaissance Wing 10. “The relationships we build working closely with the Coast Guard and other partners paid great dividends today.”

The P-8 aircrew dropped a search and rescue kit containing food and water and the C-130 aircrew dropped a radio, locator beacon, and additional supplies. JRCC watchstanders relayed their location and the crew of the merchant vessel Linnix arrived on scene this afternoon and safely transported the mariners back to Christmas Island.

*all times and dates are in Hawaii Standard Time.

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