Coast Guard continues search for missing mariners off Midway Island

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The US Coast Guard, US Navy and good Samaritans are continuing their search for ten crew members of the Yong-Yu-Sing No. 18 who went missing on Dec. 31 after Rescue Coordination Center Taipei lost contact with the vessel. 

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The Coast Guard says searches continued throughout Tuesday, approximately 550-miles northeast of Midway Island.

An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 aircrew located the adrift Yong-Yu-Sing No. 18 on Jan. 1 with a missing life raft and no signs of the crew members.

Following the discovery of the vessel, JRCC Honolulu watchstanders coordinated with both the Navy and good Samaritans aboard four Taiwan fishing vessels and three Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) merchant vessels to continuously search the area over the following days.

 “We continue to work closely with our partners during the search efforts and to date have consecutively completed 29 search sorties lasting 73-hours in total and covering more than 40,000 square nautical-miles,” said Cmdr. Scott Higbee, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu (JRCC) search and rescue mission coordinator. “We will continue to coordinate closely and look into all search options while we move forward.”

The weather on scene was reported to be winds greater than 20 mph and seas of 11 to 25 feet.

“One of the largest challenges with regards to this case besides the vast distances involved has been the weather,” said Higbee. “High seas, strong winds, and low visibility have been a constant obstacle that has prevented crews from boarding the Yong-Yu-Sing No. 18.”

The Lian-Horng No. 67 and the AMVER vessel M/V Horizon Spirit circled within 200 feet of the vessel over the weekend searching for possible signs of any crewmen that may have remained on board. The rescue teams also gathered imagery to help identify the cause of the incident.

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