The crew of a Navy P-8A Poseidon spots two mariners missing near the island of Saipan, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

The crew of a Navy P-8A Poseidon spots two mariners missing near the island of Saipan, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (U.S. Navy)

The crew of a Navy patrol aircraft flying a search-and-rescue mission found two missing mariners near the island of Saipan on Monday, according to a Navy statement.

The P-8A Poseidon patrol and reconnaissance aircraft joined the search Friday when the mariners’ 21-foot fishing vessel was reported four hours late for its scheduled return, according to the statement Wednesday.

The Poseidon crew from Patrol Squadron 5 kept eyes on the mariners until a U.S. Coast Guard vessel and a merchant ship arrived to rescue them, according to the Navy.

Mission commander Lt. Cmdr. James Miller in the statement said the crew was “happy to be a part of this successful rescue effort.”

“At sea, we're all on the same team, and today we came together to bring two lost mariners home,” he said.

The statement did not provide further information about the mariners or the vessel.

Patrol Squadron 5, the “Mad Foxes," deployed to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa from its home base in Jacksonville, Fla., according to the Navy. Okinawa is about 1,400 miles southeast of Saipan.

The squadron is “conducting maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as theater outreach operations” during their deployment to the 7th Fleet, according to the statement. Twitter: @CaitlinDoornbos

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Caitlin Doornbos covers the Pentagon for Stars and Stripes after covering the Navy’s 7th Fleet as Stripes’ Indo-Pacific correspondent at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Previously, she worked as a crime reporter in Lawrence, Kan., and Orlando, Fla., where she was part of the Orlando Sentinel team that placed as finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Caitlin has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Kansas and master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.

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