Last Friday, April 12, 2019, at about 12:23pm, the central desk of the Department of Public Service received a 911 call of a distressed vessel just outside the reef of Coral Ocean Point.
Dispatch then notified the CNMI DPS Boating Safety Unit, which immediately launched the Impact rescue boat from the Smiling Cove Marina.
Officers aboard the Impact rescue boat arrived at the area at about 1:01pm and noticed a beige-colored, 14-foot Mckee boat with two males onboard. A tow line was then placed on the boat and the Impact rescue boat pulled the distressed vessel toward the Smiling Cove Marina, arriving at the marina at about 1:58pm.
After securing the boat, officers learned that the two occupants left the Smiling Cove Marina earlier that morning at about 8:30am and headed south toward the COP area to go fishing, arriving at their location shortly around 10am. At 12pm both individuals decided to change their fishing spot and, after a few unsuccessful attempts at starting up their boats engine, they noticed that their fishing vessel began drifting further away from Saipan.
One of the fishermen immediately called his family and informed them of what has happened and asked his wife to call 911 as they continued to try and start the engine.
DPS boating safety unit would like to remind all boaters to be aware of water conditions and tide changes while planning your next trip and would also encourage all boaters to let a family member know about your anticipated fishing route before going into the water. Practice safe boating and always be sure to have enough life jackets for all on board. (PR)