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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Coast Guard cutter heading for crew of abandoned ship

Advertiser Staff

The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley is scheduled this morning to reach the crew of a Taiwanese fishing vessel that had a fire onboard yesterday, forcing the 28-member crew to abandon ship 900 miles southwest of Honolulu.

No injuries were reported, the Coast Guard said.

At 7:30 a.m. yesterday, the Rescue Coordination Center in Taiwan reported to the Coast Guard that the crew of the Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel Hou Chun 11 had abandoned ship and were in two life rafts.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules launched from O'ahu about 10 a.m. yesterday and arrived at the Hou Chun 11's last known position.

The Hercules' crew spotted two rafts about 1:30 p.m. Other Coast Guard and Navy aircraft were scheduled to relieve previous flights at approximately five-hour intervals.

The cutter Alex Haley, homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, and the Hou Chun 11's sister ship, Shin Shun, were en route to pick up the crew. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.