A Panamanian flagged containership enrolled in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or AMVER, successfully rescued 27 fishermen (10 Japanese, 8 Indonesians, and 9 Kiribati) after their vessel caught fire approximately 870 kilometers east of Guam on April 17.

According to a report from the owner of the containership, NYK Lines, the fishing vessel Daiichi Shoei Maru requested a rescue after its engine room caught fire, forcing its crew to abandon ship in life rafts.  222 kilometers away the containership South Islander, sailing from Yokohama to Honiara in the Solomon Islands at the time, was notified at about 2:20 p.m of the request to assist. At approximately 10:20 p.m., the South Islander located the abandoned crew. All 27 fishermen were then safely transferred to the South Islander in good health.

Sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or Amver, is a reporting system used by search and rescue authorities to identify vessels in the vicinity of a ship in distress. With Amver, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.  About 12,000 ships from more than 140 nations participate in Amver.

Photo: South Islander courtesy NYK Lines

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