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Bulker Rescues Seven Fishermen After Vessel Fire Off San Francisco

reederei nord
Nordrubicon (file image courtesy Reederei Nord / Safwat BG)

Published Nov 11, 2021 6:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Wednesday, the crew of a Dutch-operated bulker rescued seven fishermen after their fishing boat caught fire about 350 miles west of Monterey, California. 

Eleventh Coast Guard District's command center received multiple EPIRB and PLB alerts belonging to the fishing boat Blue Dragon around 0020 hours early Wednesday morning. 

Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 search aircraft at 0130 to search the scene. Using the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER), the Coast Guard also asked for assistance from merchant ships. 

The Portuguese-flagged bulker Nordrubicon, located about 80 miles to the northwest, responded that she could divert and assist the distressed mariners. Nordrubicon's crew reported an estimated time of arrival of about 0800 hours. 

The C-27 aircrew arrived on scene at 0320 and reported that the Blue Dragon was on fire. Survivors were aboard a life raft nearby, and they were signaling the aircraft using a flashlight. In response, the aircrew deployed a flare and a self locating datum marker buoy.

A second Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan aircrew was launched at 0800. The Nordrubicon arrived at 0930 and safely retrieved all seven fishermen from their life raft. All were accounted for, and no injuries were reported. Nordrubicon headed for San Francisco Bay to return the survivors to shore, and as of Thursday she was anchored off Hunters Point.