2 mariners found 3 days after search was suspended


The two mariners who have been lost at sea since July 22 were found by a merchant marine vessel just off the coast of Rota three days after the U.S Coast Guard called off its search.

It was learned during a brief conversation with U.S Coast Guard sector Guam spokesperson Ryan Fischer last Friday that Xiao Wei Quin and Yun Liu Red were found at around 3pm that day by a merchant marine vessel deployed near the CNMI.

According to an official USCG press release, Xiao and Yun were recovered 65 miles northwest of Rota by the merchant vessel Mito.

The two mariners were recovered three day after the Coast Guard suspended its search last Tuesday, July 27.

The search began last Wednesday, July 21, when the 14-foot black Kodiak skiff the two men were operating was reported overdue while traveling between Saipan and Guam.

Sector Guam watchstanders received a report from the CNMI Department of Public Safety at 4:16pm that day notifying them that the spouse of one of the individuals had called after being concerned for the mariners’ wellbeing.

The spouse reported that the two men left Saipan for Guam on July 18, and the last text she received from her husband stated he could see Guam.

Sector Guam watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and deployed assets to search the area, while also coordinating with local and federal partners, including land searches in Guam.

However, after 111 hours of searching, Capt. Nicholas Simmons, commander of Coast Guard Sector Guam, said the sector had to make the difficult decision to call off the search on Day 5.

“Since the case began, we worked closely with our local, regional, and federal partners covering over 14,000 square nautical miles during 111 search hours with no sign of Wei Quin and Liu Red. Making this decision is never easy, but we have suspended the active search pending development of further information” he said.

Assets and personnel involved in the search efforts included the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Oliver Henry; Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor 45-foot response boat-medium crews; a Navy Mark VI patrol boat and crew; Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 H-60 helicopters and aircrews; Navy P-8 Poseidon aircrews; a Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew; Air Force security forces; Guam Police Department ground crews; Guam Fire Department ground crews; Joint Rescue Sub Center Guam watchstanders; and Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu watchstanders.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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