Coast Guard provides SAR planning support to Republic of Korea

Coast Guard Alaska News
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard search and rescue crews were relieved by Republic of Korea assets on Saturday in their search for 26 crewmembers from the fishing vessel 501 Oryong that capsized Nov. 30, 2014, near Chukotka, Russia, in the Bering Sea.

The Coast Guard completed more than 24 searches covering more than 4,576 square miles utilizing two cutters, two helicopters, and multiple airplanes. Coast Guard crews will continue to partner with the Republic of Korea to provide search and rescue planning support.

“The sympathies of the Coast Guard go out to those impacted by this tragic maritime loss,” said Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “To the families of those known to have perished, we grieve with you. For the families of those who still remain unaccounted, not knowing the fate of a loved one is often more difficult than a sad but definitive conclusion.”

Two Republic of Korea Navy P-3 Orion aircraft joined the search for survivors on Dec. 6, 2014. The Republic of Korea vessel Sam-Bong arrived at the 501 Oryong’s last known position Saturday and began their investigation.

The Coast Guard offered to assist the Kamchatka Border Guard Directorate and the Republic of Korea with their search for survivors and deployed the following assets:

  • The Coast Guard Cutter Munro, a 378-foot high endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak, with an embarked Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, a 282-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Kodiak, with an embarked Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
  • Several Coast Guard Hercules C-130 aircraft from Air Station Kodiak.
  • Two SAR planners from Juneau deployed to Anchorage to work alongside South Korean Navy P-3 aircrews.

The Republic of Korea reported the 501 Oryong, with 60 crewmembers, was hauling in its catch when a wave hit and flooded the vessel’s storage chambers with seawater.

Good Samaritans rescued eight crewmembers, but one died of complications, 26 bodies were recovered, and 26 crewmembers remain missing.

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