Posted on January 04, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Chinese-flagged commercial fishing carrier, Ou Ya Leng 6, ran aground on Taka Atoll in the Marshall Islands, approximately 180 nautical miles northeast of Kwajalein, in the afternoon of January the 2nd.
Following the incident, Maritime Rescue Coordination Center China notified the US Coast Guard (USCG), that the Ou Ya Leng 6 had run aground on Taka Atoll.
In response, the USCG sent a HC-130 Hercules spotter aircraft to survey the scene. Having circled the area, the aircraft tried to land and provide assistance but could not locate a suitable area.
By the time the coastguard managed to successfully make contact with the distressed crew, the Ou Ya Leng 6 had begun to take on water.
Contrary to initial reports suggesting that they had abandoned ship, the crew chose to remain onboard the slowly sinking vessel that had been running on emergency generator power.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands sent out the Sea Patrol vessel, Lomor, to assist the unfortunate crew. The vessel is supposed to arrive at the scene alongside the crude oil tanker Andrea Victory, and two fishing ships that had been operating in the area. The vessels are expected to arrive at the scene on Friday.
"Our first concern is for the crew the vessel, and we are working with our partners to affect a rescue. We are also working with the government of the Marshall Islands to respond to the grounded vessel. This case is unfolding in a remote part of the Pacific with most surface vessels days away; thus, the assistance of commercial vessels is extremely valuable to our effort coordinating help for this crew,” said Brendon Ritz, spokesman for the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre for Honolulu.
So far here have been no reports of injuries or an oil spill. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
Image Courtesy of USCG