ASAN, Guam—Assets from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard participated in a multinational search-and-rescue mission to locate a missing Taiwanese mariner in waters off the Republic of Palau on Oct. 24-26.
The Navy and Coast Guard worked collaboratively with Australian, Palauan, and Taiwanese air-and-sea support to explore more than 4,000 nautical miles of water for the master of the Taiwanese vessel Taipower Prosperity II.
“This multilateral operation displays the excellent relationship we have with Australia and Palau,” said Rear Adm. Tilghman Payne, commander, Joint Region Marianas. “The partnership and training exercises we conduct every year prepare each of us for instances like this when we rely on one another for support. We commend everyone involved in this mission for their response and selfless commitment.”
Search efforts for the missing individual began Oct. 24 when U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam received a forwarded distress call from the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center District 14 in Honolulu, who received word from Rescue Coordination Center Australia regarding a reported man overboard off the Taiwanese vessel.
USCG Sector Guam contacted the Department of Maritime Law Enforcement maritime surveillance adviser to Palau to notify them of the distress call.
From Oct. 25-26 ocean surface vessels including the Merchant Vessel Ocean Sympathy, a participant of the Automated Mutual-Assistance Rescue System, and the Pacific Patrol Boat Remlik from Palau launched SAR efforts to assist in locating the individual.
P-3 Orion aircrafts from Australia and CTF-72, a USCG HC-130 Hercules and an SH-60 helicopter from USS Preble provided aerial support while the search continued. The Preble was in Palau for a port call and a training exercise with the host nation, which was canceled due to the SAR.
Search efforts for the missing individual were suspended on Oct. 26. (USCG)