Search Under Way for Bulker's Missing Captain off Guam

Rising Wind (file image courtesy NSU)

Published Feb 12, 2020 8:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force are searching for the captain of the Japanese-operated bulker Rising Wind, who went missing at a position about 150 nm off Chuuk, a Micronesian island southeast of Guam.

At about 1745 hours on Tuesday, Coast Guard watchstanders on Guam received a request for assistance from Rescue Coordination Center Australia. The Australian center had received a call from the first mate of the Rising Wind, who reported that the vessel’s master was missing. The captain was last seen in his cabin and was feeling ill. 

Upon realizing the master was missing, the Rising Wind’s crew turned the vessel around and began retracing their course. JRSC Guam watchstanders diverted the Air Station Barbers Point Hercules aircrew from a routine patrol nearby and reached out to the Air Force 36th Wing for assistance. The Air Force agreed to assist and deployed a Super Hercules aircrew from Anderson Air Force Base on Guam to support the search. 

Coast Guard watchstanders are also reaching out to good samaritan vessels via the AMVER system to ask for assistance. 

“In cases such as this one, we often rely on our partners in the region to coordinate effective searches and cover vast areas,” said PO1 Colby Anderson, a Joint Rescue Sub-Center Guam watchstander. “The Air Force is augmenting our air asset with another aircraft to cover more search area faster than we can do alone.”