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Press Release | May 29, 2024

Coast Guard aids in rescue of 3 Kiribati fishermen

HONOLULU — Recently, the U.S. Coast Guard assisted in the rescue of an overdue 26-foot fiberglass skiff from Kiritimati Island, Kiribati. 

A Kiribati good Samaritan vessel was able to use the potential vessel drift model provided by the U.S. Coast Guard to find and rescue the three fishermen after they were reported missing on May 12, 2024. 

U.S. Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Honolulu received a request from the Kiribati Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator asking for assistance locating an overdue vessel with three individuals aboard that had been fishing along the west coast of Kiritimati Island.  

The JRCC Honolulu search and rescue mission coordinator directed the launch of a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 aircrew to aid in the search. The Coast Guard HC-130 aircrew deployed three self-locating datum marker buoys to calculate the current's set and drift to develop a search pattern of the area. The Fiji Maritime Surveillance & Rescue Coordination Center, located in Suva, Fiji, also provided search and rescue support. The missing fishermen were found in the predicted area, validating the effectiveness of the search plan.  

“The successful rescue of three mariners in Kiribati exemplifies the vital teamwork between the Coast Guard and our Pacific Island partners, in this case with the Kiribati SAR Coordinator,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jacob Paarlberg, the chief of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu. “This collaborative effort highlights our shared commitment to maritime safety and saving lives at sea. The U.S. Coast Guard is looking forward to continuing to strengthen search and rescue coordination with Kiribati and our partners within the Oceania region.”