3 rescued from sinking vessel south west of American Samoa

By Accidents

On the June 17, one Canadian and two Americans have been rescued from a ship that started taking on water this morning 150 n.m. south south west of American Samoa.

The primary report was obtained via Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) Honolulu shortly after 4:30 a.m., with the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) obtaining a transmission from the emergency locator beacon (EPIRB) of the damaged ship just before 8:00 a.m.

The ship's crew members of MV Horizons, was communicating via satellite phone and email with a contact in Tonga and emerged the ship was taking on water and expected to sink. Life rafts were deployed alongside, in case it became necessary to abandon the vessel, with the crew members equipped with a handheld VHF radio to keep communications.

Dave Wilson, who is Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator of the RCC of New Zealand told that 3 ships were dispatched to the scene of the accident with charter fishing ship MV Last Stall the 1st to arrive, rescuing the crew members at around midday.

An RNZAF P3 Orion was also directed to scene and due to arrive at around 2:00 p.m. but was recalled following the rescue operation.

The MV Horizons vessel remains afloat at this stage and a navigation warning is going to be issued alerting shipping in the region. It's not known what is the cause of the ship's accident but it is expected to sink.  The damaged ship is registered in the Cayman Islands and is believed to be a long-range support ship for fishing charters.

The MV Last Stall vessel is continuing to Tonga with the rescued crew members onboard, a journey expected to take around 2 days.