On Saturday, April 21, 2012 ten crewmembers were rescued from the burning vessel Hsin Man Chun, a 70-foot Taiwanese fishing vessel. The Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue partners, coordinated in the rescue after the crewmembers were forced to abandon ship 700 miles west of Guam.
A Navy P-3 Orion long-range search aircraft from Patrol Squadron 1 stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan, overflew the vessel and reported eight crewmembers in a life raft and two more on the bridge of the burning vessel. The P-3 crew deployed two life rafts to assist the crewmembers that remained behind. They passed the location of the distressed crewmembers to the Semirio, a Marshallese flagged bulk carrier diverted to the area by the Coast Guard.
The Semirio was only 40 miles away from the distressed vessel and was asked to assist. Once on scene, the 950-foot bulk carrier launched a small boat and successfully rescued all 10 crewmembers. The Semirio is one of many foreign flagged vessels operating in the Pacific that voluntarily participate in the AMVER System.
AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond. According to the US Coast Guard, more than 22,000 ships from about 100 countries participate in the program, the origins of which can be traced back to the sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago.
For more information about this incident see http://www.d14.uscgnews.com/go/doc/800/1373443/