NEWS | Dec. 1, 2020

7th Fleet Patrol Aircraft Supports Search and Rescue

Task Force 72 Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN -- A P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 5 located a disabled sailboat during a search and rescue (SAR) mission off the western coast of Saipan, Nov 30.

The search was in response to a mayday call from the Island Spirit catamaran S/V Francanna. The two-person crew reported that the ship’s mast had broken, causing ropes to become entangled in its propellers.

The P-8 covered about 9,000 square nautical miles. A Coast Guard C-130 also participated in the search. The Coast Guard is escorting Francanna back to shore.

“We're very happy to be a part of this successful rescue effort. At sea, we're all on the same team, and today we came together to bring two lost mariners home,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Miller, mission commander.

VP-5, stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, is currently deployed to Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. The squadron is conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theater outreach operations within U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.

U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build partnerships that foster maritime security, promote stability, and prevent conflict.