HONOLULU — An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew out of Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, assisted with the rescue of 28 people from a burning 150-foot fishing vessel approximately 1,400 miles north of French Frigate Shoals, Saturday, October 27.
The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu was contacted by Rescue Coordination Center Taipei, Taiwan, stating that they had been contacted by the crew of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Chin Zuei Yin. Chin Zuei Yin's crew reported a fire aboard their vessel. A Coast Guard HC-130 crew was launched to assist Saturday.
Coast Guard watchstanders were able to contact a nearby vessel, the motor vessel Sun Globe, using the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System. The Sun Globe agreed to conduct search patterns in the reported area. Two sister ships of the Chin Zuei Yin also diverted to assist.
The C-130 crew located the crew of the burning vessel at approximately 10:30 p.m., Saturday. The C-130 crew notified Chin Zuei Yin's sister ships of the new coordinates, who were able to rescue all 28 crewmembers from life rafts.
"With the vast search and rescue area of responsibility encompassed by the Coast Guard's 14th District, effective communication with our international counterparts is essential for success," said Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Keyiah Merritt, command duty officer for the Coast Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center. "This evolution has been an example of our ability to save lives through just such a cooperative effort."
There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is unknown. Rescue Coordination Center Taipei is working with the fishing company to determine final disposition of the vessel.