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Coast Guard assisting in search for missing fishermen

REPORT FROM THE US COAST GUARD – The Coast Guard is assisting the Republic of Kiribati in the search for three fishermen on a skiff in the vicinity of Tarawa, Wednesday.

The white and blue 16-foot skiff has three men aboard, two of them 55 years old and one 20-year old.

The 16-foot skiff crew was transiting from Maiana Island to Tarawa Monday at approximately 2 p.m., Hawaiian Standard Time. The crew was reported overdue and missing on Monday at 6 p.m. HST to Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu personnel.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Barber’s Point is deployed to the area to assist in the search efforts.

To assist in the search, watchstanders in JRCC Honolulu are using drift models created by the Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System. As a computer program, SAROPS calculates environmental factors such as weather, wind speed and direction, current speed and direction and the size of the search object. From that data, a search area is calculated.

“The Coast Guard’s use of SAROPS greatly increases our effectiveness,” said Cmdr. Mark Morin, Chief of 14th Coast Guard District Response Management. “It allows us to more precisely focus our search efforts on the most likely of locations based on several pieces of data. A leeway, or drift, test was recently conducted in the area and used to develop drift models for similar vessels to assist us in searches such as these.”

For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District Public Affairs Office at 808-535-3230.

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