Reliability, Performance, Compliance

News

Eight rescued from liferaft after firing flare

Hawaii USCG2

Eight people have been rescued on a liferaft in Hawaii, USA, after they fired a flare following the sinking of their fishing vessel.

The 61-foot Princess Hawaii sank around 400 miles off the Big Island one evening late in March.

The raft was spotted by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point, who asked its sister fishing vessel, The Commander, which was 20 miles away, to pick up the crew.

All on board the liferaft – a captain, six crewmembers and an observer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – were reported to be unharmed.

The Coast Guard Joint Response Coordination Center Honolulu received an emergency position indicating radio beacon alert with a position over 400 miles north of Hilo. Watchstanders called the registered owner who confirmed the vessel had gone out early that morning to fish, but neither party was able to contact the ship.

The Hercules aircrew launched once the alert was confirmed and sighted a flare and liferaft shortly after arriving on the scene. The aircrew spotted the Princess Hawaii with only the stern above the waterline. There were 10-foot seas and 20 mph winds from the east.

The Hercules crew dropped a VHF radio to the people on the liferaft and confirmed all the crew were accounted for and were in a good condition. They then asked the crew of the Commander to recover the survivors, who had plenty of water, strobe lights, and flares.

The Princess Hawaii is an 61-foot commercial fishing vessel and part of the Hawaii-long line fleet. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the sinking.

Lt. Tim Lae, command duty officer, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center, says, “The Princess Hawaii was boarded by our cutter, Oliver Berry, this past February with no safety violations. They used all their survival equipment correctly.”

The image is courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Apr 04, 2018