Hawaii aircrew assists with rescue of 3 overdue mariners in Kiribati

Local News

FILE — Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew photographed on June 13, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jack Sauve/Release)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Three overdue mariners, who were last seen on July 4, were rescued Monday in the area of Tarawa, Kiribati.

The Coast Guard, Fiji Rescue Coordination Center responders, and the fishing vessel Namurai assisted with rescue operations and transported the mariners back to Tarawa.

“Through coordination with our partners in Fiji and Kiribati, we were able to save three members of our community and bring them back home to their families,” said Jennifer Conklin, search and rescue mission coordinator for Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Honolulu. “The vast nature of the Pacific makes these partnerships vital to the success of search and rescue missions.” 

On Thursday, July 8, at around 7:45 p.m., JRCC watchstanders were notified of an overdue 20-foot skiff with three men on board heading to Ewena, Abaiang, 30 miles north of their departure point. JRCC watchstanders sent an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew to search in the vicinity of Tarawa.

On Sunday, the aircrew found the missing vessel and dropped flare markers to mark the location. The aircrew then made contact with the nearby fishing vessel Namurai and remained overhead until the two vessels were in sight of each other.

Namurai picked up the three mariners and transported them back to Tarawa.

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