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Fishermen Lost At Sea For Three Days, Coast Guard Assists In Rescue

A Coast Guard aircrew assisted in the rescue of three fishermen who had been missing for three days and found around 100 miles west of Tarawa, Kiribati on Thursday, June 2.

The government of the Republic of Kiribati sent an official request to assist in the search to watchstanders in Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. The fishermen were last seen on Monday, May 30 aboard a 17-foot skill. The Coast Guard aircrew began searching at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 2.

To assist in the search, the Coast Guard watchstanders used the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System, a computer program which determines the search area with the highest probability of locating survivors. In addition to SAROPS, the aircrew deployed a self-locating data marker buoy, which also calculates and measures currents to better assist search and rescue teams in coordinating their search patterns.

A South Korean vessel ORYUNG 335 in the area spotted a watercraft matching the description of the skiff. The crew aboard the ORYUNG 335 notified the Rescue Coordination Center Korea that they had recovered three fishermen and their skiff. The Coast Guard aircrew arrived on the scene to establish communication and confirm the names of the recovered fishermen with RCC Korea.

The rescued fishermen, aged 17, 19, and 27, were located about 100 miles away from their intended fishing area. The three were found to be in good condition.