comscore Fishing boat sinks off Oahu after Coast Guard rescues 7 who abandoned ship | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Fishing boat sinks off Oahu after Coast Guard rescues 7 who abandoned ship

  • Video by Bruce Asato

    The Coast Guard rescued seven people found floating in a life raft today after the 45-foot fishing vessel they were on burst into flames. The boat was seven nautical miles directly south of Honolulu Harbor.

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The U.S. Coast Guard gathers information from the crew of a commercial fishing vessel that caught fire off of Sand Island this afternoon.

    BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The U.S. Coast Guard gathers information from the crew of a commercial fishing vessel that caught fire off of Sand Island this afternoon.

Update: 1 p.m.

The 46-foot fishing vessel that caught fire Tuesday, leading to the rescue of seven people, sank in waters about 7 miles south of Barbers Point this morning, according to a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

The U.S.-flagged vessel, Miss Emma, sank at a depth of 2,700 feet shortly after 7:20 a.m.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir said, “We don’t see any pollution or debris.”

Salvors remained at the scene about 45 minutes after the ship sank. Muir said they did not observe any fuel sheen in the water.

Crews reported about 1,500 of diesel on the ship which likely was consumed by the flames, Muir said.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the fire.

Previous coverage

A 46-foot fishing vessel continues to burn this morning after the Coast Guard rescued seven people who abandoned ship Tuesday.

“There is still quite a bit of black smoke coming out of the vessel,” Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer Sara Muir told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning.

The U.S.-flagged vessel, Miss Emma, was about 6 1/2 miles off of Barbers Point today.

Crews from Cates Marine, a salvaging company, is battling the fire while the Coast Guard remains nearby monitoring the situation.

The Coast Guard rescued seven people — six crewmembers and an observer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — found floating in a life raft at about 5:05 p.m. after the ship burst into flames about eight miles off Sand Island.

The seven people aboard the ship thought the fire was contained to the engine room. But “in a matter of moments, the boat became engulfed in flames, and they had to abandon ship,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Alvin Seguin.

At 4:29 p.m. the Coast Guard received a mayday call from the ship. All seven on board were topside and managed to escape, Seguin said.

No injuries were reported.

The Coast Guard launched from Station Honolulu at Sand Island its 45-foot response boat and a cutter. Also an HC-130 Hercules plane and an MH-Dolphin helicopter were dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.

Coast Guard crews managed to pull the seven people into the response boat from a life raft at about 5:05 p.m. All were taken to Pier 38 where Emergency Medical Services was standing by.

Three Honolulu Fire Department units with 11 personnel also responded to assist EMS.

It’s unknown how the fire started, but Coast Guard investigators are working to determine the cause.

The Coast Guard is slated to conduct an aerial assessment at the ship’s location sometime this morning with a pollution response specialist.

The vessel had about 1,500 gallons of diesel but it is unknown how much of the fuel oil remains, Muir said.

Miss Emma’s home port is Honolulu.

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