USCG: Partners searching for missing Fishing Vessel in the Pacific North of Palau

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13 August 2019

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force, and partners are searching for the 60-foot Indonesian-flagged fishing vessel Hallelujar approximately 172 miles northwest of Palau, Tuesday.

“Our primary concern is the well-being of the crew and the absence of lifesaving and communications equipment reportedly aboard the vessel,” said Lt. Jonathan Girot, Sector Guam public affairs officer. “We appreciate the support of our partners to conduct these searches in such a remote part of the Pacific.”

The crews of the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska (WPB 1336), a forward-deployed Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules and a B-52 Stratofortress from the U.S. Air Force 36th Wing are en-route to assist in the search. Rescue Coordination Center Guam is coordinating with good Samaritans in the area for assistance. 

“This case illustrates the importance of our partnerships in the Pacific to respond quickly and work together to cover vast distances and remote locations,” said Capt. Chris Chase, commander, Coast Guard Sector Guam.

At 7:03 p.m. (HST) Monday, Sector Guam Command Center watchstanders received a report from the Japanese coast guard stating the Japanese fishing vessel Kinsei Maru No.3 rescued a mariner on a motorboat north of Palau. The mariner said his boat, the Hallelujar, was adrift for approximately ten days without electricity, food, and water. There are reportedly eight crewmembers still aboard. When the Hallelujar’s crew saw the lights from the Kinsei Maru No.3, they sent the mariner on the vessel’s motorboat for assistance.

The Kinsei Maru No.3 crew searched the area but could not locate the Hallelujar and departed due to deteriorating weather. The rescued mariner stated there were no injuries or significant medical concerns among the Hallelujar’s crew. 

Sector Guam watchstanders issued a SafetyNet broadcast seeking the assistance of any mariners in the area and diverted the Kiska from Palau and the Hercules from Pohnpei to search. Watchstanders also contacted the U.S. Air Force for help. 

The Coast Guard recommends taking additional supplies, food and water, a VHF-FM radio and a personal locator beacon if possible every time mariners leave port. Distress situations can arise at any time, and being prepared can reduce search times and improve the chances of being rescued.