Search for Crewmember Feared Overboard Called Off When He Was Found on Ship

Man overbaord search
A multi-day search was launched for what turned out to be a false report of a man overboard (iStock)

Published Jul 3, 2024 5:58 PM by The Maritime Executive


After a search spanning more than two days and covering hundreds of miles in the Pacific, the U.S. Coast Guard was informed that the suspected missing crewmember was found safe aboard his ship. Teams had been urgently searching while the USCG coordinated an effort from Guam after receiving what turned out to be a false alarm.

Details were not provided on the incident with the USCG Joint Sub-Center Guam saying that the multi-national search effort had been concluded. They said the master of Daiwan Glory reported that the missing crewmember, identified as a 39-year-old Vietnamese citizen, was safe aboard the ship after all.

The incident began on June 25 when the Daiwan Glory, a 35,500 dwt bulker managed from Taiwan and registered in Panama, reported to the Japan Coast Guard that it had a missing crewmember. The vessel issued a distress alert that morning and the USCG in Guam was notified of the man overboard situation. The report said the crewmember had last been seen around 9:45 a.m. wearing orange coveralls. 

The Coast Guard notes that communications with the vessel were challenging due to the distance. Updates were relayed through emails.

The Daiwan Glory reported it was searching a reciprocal track line approximately 600 nautical miles south of Guam in the area between Guam and Papua New Guinea. The USCG used the AMVER (Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue) system to issue an alert to all vessels in the region. The Singapore-flagged containership Kota Gabung and the bulker Golden Hope both altered course to join the search. The following day, another bulker the Hupeh also joined in the search as well as the LNG tanker Cesi Beihai.

A USCG HC-130 Hercules and crew from Hawaii were sent to Guam to also join the search. The Australian Defense Force also offered an aircraft while it was seeking diplomatic clearances for the needed airspace access.

The ships reported a strong 25-knot wind but said visibility was good at 10 nautical miles. Seas were also calm at three to five feet and a warm 87 degrees Fahrenheit water temperature gave hope to the search.

Early on the morning of June 27, the USCG Guam reports it was informed that the crewmember had been found. There was no explanation as to why the person had gone undetected for so many hours. The Coast Guard highlights that the effort however demonstrated the AMVER resource and the capabilities to respond to emergencies.