Coast Guard rescues three stranded at sea in the waters off of Pohnpei
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam | .
published: August 11, 2016
Santa Rita, Guam — Three people were rescued at sea due to engine failure in the waters off of Pohnpei.
At 3:33pm on August 9th the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam’s Joint Rescue Sub-Center (JRSC) received a Search and Rescue Satellite (SARSAT) alert for a 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) approximately 10NM south of Pohnpei.
The JRSC quickly issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and SAFETY NET message to all mariners requesting assistance within the vicinity. The JRSC contacted the Federated States of Micronesia National Police to request the dispatch of a search vessel to which they launched the FSS UNITY and headed towards the given coordinates.
During the interim time while the FSS UNITY made way to the distressed vessel, the JRSC was able to pull the beacon information that was registered and contact the owner’s family. The family was able to confirm that three people had departed earlier that day and were expected to be in the area where the beacon was activated. The JRSC also confirmed through multiple beacon alerts that the vessel seemed to be making way through the water even with engine problems.
They reported all the locations to the FSS UNITY who was able to locate the vessel in 5 foot seas and 10 knot winds off the coast of Pohnpei and safely escort the vessel and all passengers back home.
Senior Chief Zack Washko, the JRSC Command Duty Officer for the case reports that having a registered PLB on board greatly increased the men’s chances of survival and being located during this situation. The beacon was properly registered with the owner’s contact and family information and allowed the Coast Guard to receive hourly updates on the vessel’s location. With this information it allowed for a flawless joint search effort with the Federated States of Micronesia. These devices are essential to the survivability of mariners at sea. It is recommended that all mariners inform someone of their travel plans and carry personal floatation devices for all persons aboard the vessel; an alert beacon, whether it be an Emergency Position Indicating Beacon or PLB, flares and reliable communications.