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Isle Coast Guard C-130 crew finds stricken mariners in North Pacific

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An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Barbers Point Coast Guard Air Station assisted with the rescue of 28 people from a 150-foot fishing vessel that burned Saturday about 1,400 miles north of French Frigate Shoals.  

The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu was contacted by Rescue Coordination Center Taipei, Taiwan, which had been contacted by the crew of the Taiwanese fishing vessel Chin Zuei Yin, the Coast Guard said.

Chin Zuei Yin’s crew reported a fire aboard their vessel. A Coast Guard HC-130 crew was launched to assist.

Coast Guard officials were able to contact a nearby vessel, the motor vessel Sun Globe. The Sun Globe agreed to conduct search patterns in the reported area.

Two sister ships of the Chin Zuei Yin also changed course to assist.

The C-130 crew located the crew of the burning vessel at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. The C-130 crew notified Chin Zuei Yin’s sister ships of the new coordinates, and they 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 the final disposition of the vessel.

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