Mariners found safe on deserted Pacific island

Author:
Publish date:

Seven missing mariners are safe after a Coast Guard air crew spotted the men Sunday on a deserted Pacific island.

Seven males between the ages of 19 and 30, were last seen leaving the southwestern part of Maloelap Atoll Nov. 3 en route north to Kaven Island, aboard a 20-foot skiff. The Royal Australian Navy liaison to the Republic of Marshall Islands contacted Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu watchstanders at 10 p.m. Thursday and reported the vessel as 24 hours overdue.

An HC-130 Hercules airplane and crew was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point to assist with the search.

Coast Guard personnel worked with a Royal Australian Navy liaison in developing joint search patterns that would be used by assets of both governments. An Air Marshall Islands aircraft was also launched for the search.

On the second day, the HC-130 Hercules airplane crew spotted the missing men on the beach of a small island waving palm fronds near a blue vessel matching the description of the overdue 20-foot skiff. The Republic of the Marshall Islands 107-foot patrol boat Lomor was diverted and picked up the survivors.

The survivors were taken back to their home atolls via the Royal Australian Navy motor vessel Miss Telitha.

There were no injuries reported.