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Friday, April 18, 2014

10 fishermen rescued from sinking vessel

Environmental assessment teams from Guam Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, and Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas conduct site assessments of the beach at Spanish Steps in Apra Harbor, Guam Feb. 15.  The team will assess if any damage to coral reefs and sea turtle nests occurred as a result of the grounding of the commercial fishing vessel Daiki Maru 7, which ran aground in Apra Harbor Feb. 13. (MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 2ND CLASS TIMOTHY WILSON) APRA HARBOR, Guam—Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 conducted a search and rescue operation and rescued 10 fishermen from a sinking commercial fishing vessel that ran aground in Apra Harbor near the Spanish Steps on Feb. 13 at approximately 6pm.

“Through the efforts of HSC-25 and the U.S. Coast Guard, we were able to successfully meet our first priority, which was to rescue the crewmembers,” said Capt. Mike Ward, commanding officer of Naval Base Guam. “Now we are focusing our attention on environmental assessment and vessel salvage efforts and we will be partnering with U.S. Coast Guard, Guam EPA, NOAA and the responsible party.”

HSC-25 received a request for support from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam at approximately 5:30pm and two Navy MH-60S Seahawk helicopters were diverted from a training operation. The fishermen were rescued from the waters just inside the mouth of Apra Harbor. They were transported to Naval Hospital Guam for evaluation and later released.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard monitored the vessel throughout the night to ensure the safety of all vessels transiting through the mouth of the harbor.

HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron that maintains a 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation alert posture, directly supporting the U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. (PR)

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