Navy Rescues 3 Fishermen Off Saipan


Guam –  U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam search and rescue watchstanders were notified by Saipan Emergency Management Office on Wednesday about a “Mayday” call received about 8 am. The watchstanders then received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon signal coming from the vessel SAN ANTONIO, reported approximately 65 nautical miles off the northern tip of Saipan.

Sector Guam sortied Coast Guard Cutter ASSATEAGUE, a 110-ft patrol boat homeported in Apra Harbor, Guam and a crew from the U.S. Navy Helicopter from Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25), stationed at Andersen Air Force Base to respond to the vessel in distress.

HSC-25 launched at about 9 a.m. and located the disabled SAN ANTONIO just after 11 a.m.  Fighting strong wind gusts, the aircrew hoisted all three crewmembers and returned them safely to Saipan before 1 p.m. The survivors had no injuries and were released to the Saipan Department of Public Safety.

The crew of the SAN ANTONIO, a 42-foot U.S.-flagged, white hulled fishing vessel, registered in Saipan, was on a fishing trip, heading toward Zealandia Bank, a fishing ground.  The fishing vessel was anchored and unable to start their engines when the wind and seas in the area began to increase significantly. A small craft advisory had been issued on Tuesday and was in effect through Wednesday afternoon.

Mariners are asked to make early contact with emergency officials and report all marine emergencies to the Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center at 671-564-USCG.