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Coast Guard and partners rescue three overdue mariners in Kiribati

Coast Guard and partners rescue three overdue mariners in Kiribati
A U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft is rinsed down at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Jan. 24, 2018.
Crewmembers maintain operational readiness by washing the plane after every flight to protect it and remove any salt.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Brandon Kelly.

HONOLULU — Coast Guard, Fiji Rescue Coordination Center responders, and the fishing vessel Namurai rescue three overdue mariners in the vicinity of Tarawa, Kiribati, Monday.

The crew of the fishing vessel Namurai rescued the mariners, last seen on July 4th, and transported them back to Tarawa.

“Through coordination with our partners in Fiji and Kiribati, we were able to save three members of our community and bring them back home to their families,” said Jennifer Conklin, search and rescue mission coordinator for Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “The vast nature of the Pacific makes these partnerships vital to the success of search and rescue missions.”​

At 7:45 p.m., Thursday, JRCC watchstanders received notification of an overdue 20-foot skiff with three men on board en route to Ewena, Abaiang, 30-miles north of their departure point.​

Upon notification, JRCC watchstanders deployed an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew to conduct searches in the vicinity of Tarawa. At 7:28 p.m. Sunday, the aircrew located the missing vessel and dropped flare markers along with a search and rescue radar transponder.​

The crew of the HC-130 made contact with the nearby fishing vessel Namurai who picked up the three mariners and transported them back to Tarawa; the aircrew remained overhead until the two vessels were in sight of each other.

*all times and dates are in Hawaii Standard Time.

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