Ten Rescued After 60-Foot Voyaging Canoe Sinks Near Palau

The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Advisor, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea, approximately 103 miles northeast of Palau, Monday.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, approximately 103 miles off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, approximately 103 miles off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Using a satellite telephone, a crewmember aboard a 60-foot voyaging canoe contacted officials at the Palau Community College and indicated the vessel was breaking apart and sinking, at 6:30 a.m. Chamorro Standard Time, Monday.

After receiving the call, the college officials contacted the appropriate Palauan Agencies in accordance with their National Search and Rescue Plan, who requested assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard in accordance with a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding under the Compact of Free Association.

The mariners in distress began their trip aboard the 60-foot traditional sailing canoe, traveling from Palau to the outer islands of Yap State, in the Federated States of Micronesia. The vessel had 10 crewmembers aboard, including students from the Palau Community College. Aboard the canoe were two Americans, seven Palauans and one Japanese citizen.

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guardsmen aboard a small boat from the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Washington assist in transferring 10 canoeists, who were saved by the cargo vessel Hyundai Unity, March 4, 2013, off the coast of Palau. The Coast Guard, in coordination with the Republic of Palau Division of Maritime Law Enforcement and the Royal Australian Navy Maritime Surveillance Adviser, partnered to provide assistance to the Republic of Palau in the rescue of the 10 mariners from the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Coast Guard launched the 110-foot Cuter Washington to assist in the rescue and requested long range aircraft support from the U.S. Navy’s Combined Task Force 72, located in Kadena, Japan. The Coast Guard also contacted the crew aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel Hyundai Unity, who was in the vicinity of the distress location. The vessel crew diverted from their course toward the distress position.

The crew of the Hyundai Unity spotted the individuals at 11:32 a.m. and began the process of rescuing the crew members. The Washington’s crew met up with the Hyundai Unity crew to safely transfer the 10 canoeists and take them to Palau.

This successful response was greatly assisted by the foresight and planning of the vessel crew, who filed a detailed float plan prior to departing, and maintained a full suite of lifesaving equipment, including a satellite telephone and personal flotation devices for each person aboard.

For more information contact Lt. Justin Valentino, at Coast Guard Sector Guam, at 671-355-4824.

 

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