SANTA RITA, Guam—Three men aboard a missing 19-foot center console were located by a merchant vessel, after departing Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) two days earlier.
At 9pm, on March 29, 2016, watch standers at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam’s Rescue Sub-Center (RSC) received a report from a gentleman residing on Guam of a missing 19-foot center console with three adult males aboard. The vessel reportedly departed on a voyage from Chuuk to Puluwat, FSM during the early morning of March 28th. RSC Guam reached out to local and state authorities within FSM and the U.S. Embassy in Pohnpei to coordinate and support search efforts for the missing men and their vessel. RSC Guam also contacted U.S. Coast Guard’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Hawaii to coordinate the launch of available aircraft to aid in the search for the missing vessel. Watch standers from RSC Guam used the Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) Optimal Planning System, a computer-based SAR planning tool, to develop search patterns for the responding vessels. Radio and satellite broadcasts were also made advising mariners of the distress.
Multiple resources from FSM and the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) system were contacted to conduct searches for the missing vessel. Search resources included: the 770-foot Liberia-flagged bulk carrier SOMA MARU, 770-foot Panama-flagged bulk carrier SHORYU, and a twin-engine charter aircraft from Caroline Air, based in Chuuk, FSM.
On the evening of March 30, after drifting for more than 40 hours, the missing men and their vessel were located by the AMVER vessel SHORYU, approximately 31 nautical miles northeast of Puluwat. The men were taken aboard the SHORYU and received food and water. SHORYU took the men and their vessel within six nautical miles of Puluwat. The three men disembarked the merchant vessel and continued to the Puluwat under the escort of a local rescue vessel. All men arrived safely with no reports of injury. Approximately 300 square nautical miles were covered during the search.