REPORT FROM THE US COAST GUARD – APRA HARBOR, Guam — The Coast Guard is searching for a male crewmember reported overboard from a fishing vessel approximately 170 miles southwest of Chuuk Island, Wednesday.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center received notification from the Yokohama Rescue Coordination Center about 8 a.m. Tuesday of a 34-year-old male who was reported overboard from the Japanese fishing vessel Wakaba Maru 7.
The crewmember, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia, was last seen at midnight. It is unknown if he was wearing a life jacket or the exact time he went overboard.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point for a 3,625 mile flight to the search area. They are expected to arrive on scene at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Currently searching are the Wakaba Maru 7, a support helicopter, two sister fishing vessels, and a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aircraft from Air Base Kadena, Japan. Coast Guard Sector Guam is coordinating the search and providing search patterns for responding vessels and aircraft.
Weather conditions on scene are winds of 10 mph and seas of 5 feet.
There are four HC-130 Hercules airplanes based on Oahu serving the Central and South Pacific. These aircraft are the primary means of conducting long range missions and are scheduled to be replaced by the HC-130J, which will bring increased speed, range and capability to the Coast Guard mission in the Pacific. For more information on the HC-130J visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/programs/air.asp.