Coast Guard helps crew return to damaged fishing boat

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 12, 2016

Forty-two people who abandoned their fishing vessel after it caught fire 1,800 miles south of Hawaii have returned to the ship with help from the Hawaii Coast Guard.

An HC-130 Hercules from Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, dropped equipment the crew used to get water out of the American-flagged Eagle on Wednesday afternoon.

The Eagle’s captain told the Coast Guard that he and eight crewmembers put the fire out and were able to restart the ship’s generator and communications. Thirty crewmembers reboarded the ship and were cleaning and assessing damage, a Coast Guard statement said.

No crewmembers was injured in the incident.

The Coast Guard was joined in the effort by the Fong Seong 888, a Tuvalu-flagged oil tanker that remained at the scene Thursday.

The Eagle’s sister ship, American Victory, was en route and scheduled to arrive in three days to relieve the Fong Seong 888, the Coast Guard said.

The crewmembers left the ship around 10 a.m. Wednesday in two life rafts, three work boats and a skiff, the Coast Guard said.


A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew conducts a pre-flight brief prior to launching from Air Station Barbers Point in response to a report of 40 people abandoning ship south of the Hawaiian Islands, Feb. 10, 2016.
Sarah Bradley/U.S. Coast Guard photo


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