u.s. coast guard

American Cargo Ship Rescues Mariners in Distress in Pacific

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 49
July 13, 2020

Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

The crew of the Matson cargo ship MV Mahi Mahi rescued three mariners from their disabled 50-foot trimaran approximately 825 miles northeast of Oahu last week.

The crew of the Mahi Mahi brought the mariners back to Honolulu Thursday afternoon.

There are no reports of injuries. A hazard to navigation notice to mariners has been issued regarding the derelict trimaran, named Third Try.

At 8 a.m. on July 7, Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) watchstanders received a report from a friend of the trimaran’s master stating the vessel had not made contact since Monday. The three mariners aboard were attempting a non-stop circumnavigation of the globe and their last known position was between California and Hawaii.

JRCC watchstanders issued a SAFETYNET broadcast notifying merchant vessels in the region of the situation and spoke with the Third Try’s captain’s friend and family to ascertain the vessel’s intended route. Watchstanders also reached out to Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) ships in the area for assistance and the crew of the nearby Matson vessel Mahi Mahi agreed to divert and travel along the Third Try’s suspected route.

At 3:01 p.m. that same day, JRCC Watchstanders received an alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) registered to the Third Try. Watchstanders updated the SAFETYNET broadcast with the new location and launched an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew with a life raft aboard in response. They also notified the Mahi Mahi crew of the new location.

The Hercules aircrew arrived on scene and located the adrift Third Try. The aircrew reported the vessel had structural damage and had lost its rudder. The mariners were requesting to be removed from the vessel.

At 3:33 a.m., Wednesday, July 8, the Mahi Mahi crew arrived on scene and successfully evacuated the three mariners from the Third Try.

“One of our greatest challenges out here in the Pacific is distance,” said Lt. Diane French, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) command duty officer. “First responders are often days away and we regularly rely on merchant vessel crews like the Mahi Mahi’s to assist with search and rescue cases. We are always grateful for their help.”

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