HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Coast Guard, Air Force, and Federated States of Micronesia responders rescued five mariners in the vicinity of Houk Island, Chuuk, Friday.
The crew of the merchant vessel Hoegh Brasilia rescued the mariners, missing since Tuesday, and transported them to the vicinity of Houk Island where the Coast Guard Cutter Myrtle Hazard escorted them back to the island.
“Through coordination with multiple response agencies, we were able to save five members of our community and bring them back home to their families,” said Cmdr. Kristen Hahn, search and rescue mission coordinator for Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu . “The mariners having a float plan and communicating that plan with their family directly contributed to their rescue.”
At 7:15 p.m., Thursday, Joint Rescue Sub-Center Guam received notification of a 23-foot skiff with five men on board that was overdue from a fishing trip.
Upon notification, JRSC watchstanders issued a SafetyNet broadcast to mariners. Watchstanders deployed an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Hawaii, diverted the CGC Myrtle Hazard, and began querying possible volunteer commercial Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System vessels and partners in the area to assist with the search.
At 3:15 p.m., Friday, an Andersen Air Force Base KC-135 Stratotanker crew located the overdue skiff 50 miles southwest of the Polusuk Atoll. The Air Force KC-130 remained on scene until an Air Station Barbers Point C-130 Hercules aircrew arrived and deployed a SAR kit with food, water and handheld radios.
The AMVER vessel Hoegh Bracilia arrived on scene shortly after and recovered all persons with no contact and COVID mitigation procedures. JRSC directed the AMVER vessel to proceed towards Houk Island and remain off-shore overnight. The next morning, the CGC Myrtle Hazard escorted the skiff back to Houk Island safely.
*all times and dates are in Hawaii Standard Time.