Seven mariners have been rescued after they were forced to abandon ship due to a shipboard fire 316 miles northeast of Johnston Island at approximately 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The Coast Guard received distress alerts from two Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons and initiated a search Thursday morning.
Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu initially received an unknown Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon with an unspecific location to the distress.
Two hours later watchstanders received another alert that belonged to a NOAA observer, who was based out of Honolulu. After gathering his information, JRCC watchstanders learned he was aboard the 72-foot fishing vessel, Golden Eagle II, which is also home ported in Honolulu.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 8 a.m. The Hercules arrived on scene at approximately 10:30 a.m. to find the Golden Eagle II listing and a life raft floating nearby. The aircrew was able to confirm that at least one person was in the life raft.
Coast Guard watchstanders contacted the crew of the 750-foot motor vessel, Forestal Diamante, which was 60 miles from the Golden Eagle II under the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue Program. Forestal Diamante arrived on scene at approximately 11:15 a.m. and rescued all seven crew form the Golden Eagle II. The Golden Eagle II reportedly suffered a shipboard fire which forced the crew to abandon ship and activate their EPIRB’s.
All members of the crew are reported in good condition with no injuries. They will remain aboard the Forestal Diamante which is heading to Japan, but will try to take the crew to Guam en-route. Golden Eagle II remains adrift.