NEWS | Sept. 18, 2019

Coast Guard Rescues 7 Mariners from Vessel on Fire off Oahu

By Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir U.S. Coast Guard District 14 Hawaii Pacific  

HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Six crew and an NOAA observer are safe following a Coast Guard rescue eight miles off Ko'Olina, Tuesday.

"We are so pleased to have this crew safe in less than an hour after the initial call," said Lt. j.g. Seth Gross, command duty officer, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center. "The quick action of this crew, coupled with our training, made all the difference.”

A Coast Guard Station Honolulu 45-foot Response-Boat Medium crew rescued the crew of the fishing vessel Miss Emma from a liferaft after the ship reportedly caught fire.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF-FM channel 16 at 4:29 p.m. reporting the crew was battling a vessel fire.

Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners and directed the launch of the RB-M and the Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak (WPC 1126). Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu also coordinated aviation support from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point in the form of an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews.

The RB-M crew was first on scene and rescued the Miss Emma mariners at 5:05 p.m. They arrived in Honolulu at Pier 38 where they were met by emergency medical personnel for further evaluation, Coast Guard first responders, and Customs and Border Protection personnel. There are no reported injuries.

The vessel remains on fire and adrift moving southwest, but may shift. The team on the Joseph Gerczak recovered the Miss Emma's deployed liferaft following the crew's rescue by the RB-M. Coast Guard assets remain on scene, and crews are determining next steps. The public is asked to stay at a distance from the vessel for safety.

The Miss Emma is a 46-foot commercial fishing vessel homeported out of Honolulu. The Coast Guard has begun a routine investigation into the cause of the fire.

Weather on scene is reportedly 14 mph winds, with 4-foot seas and scattered showers.