Posted on September 19, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis

A Hawaiian Commercial Fishing Vessel caught on fire and sank, during the afternoon hours of September the 17th while operating off the coast of Honolulu.

The incident occurred at approximately 16:30 hours, some 8 miles off Ko’Olina, Hawaii.

United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Honolulu received a VHF distress call from the crew of the vessel, who reported that a fire had erupted onboard the ship.

Upon receiving the news, the USCG sent a broadcast alert to seafarers in the region and dispatched a response boat and the cutter Joseph Gerczak, in order to aid the distressed vessel.

Furthermore, USCG Sector Honolulu requested aviation support from the US Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point in the form of an HC-130 Hercules SAR aeroplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

Due to the extent and nature of the fire, the 7 people on board Miss Emma (including 6 crew members and an NOAA observer) were forced to board a life raft and abandon ship.

Thankfully, by 17:05, the response boat had arrived at location and proceeded to rescue the distressed mariners. They were then taken to Honolulu where they were given first aid and underwent further examination by qualified medical personnel. There were no reports of injuries amongst the rescued party.

The fishing vessel however remained on fire and continued moving southwest, adrift on the seas. The ship proceeded to burn throughout the night before sinking at approximately 07:22 am, some seven miles south of Barbers Point.  


There were no reports of pollution or debris following the sinking of the fishing vessel. As a result, the ship will not become a hazard for local maritime traffic.


Posted in Safety , Fire , Sinking , Accident , Hawaii , United States , North America , United States Coast Guard

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