HONOLULU – Ten members of a Taiwanese fishing ship were rescued in the Pacific after being forced to abandon the burning vessel before it sank, authorities said Sunday.
The crew aboard the 70-foot ship made a radio call about the fire Saturday afternoon when it was about 700 miles west of Guam, Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Richard Russell said.
A U.S. Navy search aircraft stationed at Kadena Air Base in Japan flew to the site and saw eight people in a life raft and two more on the bridge of the burning ship. The Navy crew threw life rafts to help the two left behind and took photos of the vessel as it was fully engulfed in flames.
The Coast Guard, relying on GPS-based system to locate ships in the area of a distressed vessel, then directed a cargo ship that was 40 miles away to come pick up the crewmembers.
The crew, made up of 2 Taiwanese and 8 Indonesian nationals, was returning to China aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship, Russell said.