Merchant Ship Rescues 19 Fishermen Off Bermuda

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By MarEx 2016-06-22 21:32:54

On Tuesday, the Bermuda Marine Operations Center reported that the merchant ship K Coral had rescued 19 Chinese and Indonesian fishermen from the fishing vessel Pioneer.

The Duty Officer at the center told Bermuda News that the K Coral had reported sighting fire and smoke just after 0100 hours Tuesday in a position some 900 nm to the southeast of Bermuda. She arrived alongside the Pioneer shortly after the sighting and found the fishing vessel on fire, with all crewmembers already in the water. 

The K Coral quickly recovered 17 of the 19 crewmembers; two had suffered second degree burns. One additional survivor was taken on shortly thereafter.

With one fisherman still unaccounted for, the U.S. Coast Guard was contacted (at RCC Norfolk) and the USCG reached out to nearby AMVER vessels to aid in the search. The merchant bulker Cherry Point responded and joined the effort, and the final survivor was found six hours after the K Coral's arrival on scene. 

All 19 fishermen are reported to be in stable condition, and the K Coral has diverted to Norfolk, Virginia to bring them safely ashore. The two injured men are being closely monitored in case a helicopter medevac should be needed. 

K Coral is a 2010-built Panama-flagged handysize bulker operated by SK Shipping of South Korea. She last made headlines in 2012 for a labor dispute on board while she was calling at the Australian coal port of Newcastle.