Fishing ship catches fire south of Hawaii, 42 crew members rescued

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 11, 2016 5:45 AM

(Reuters) - Crew members of a fishing ship that caught fire south of Hawaii on Wednesday were rescued after they abandoned their vessel, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The 42 crew members of the American Eagle, a 258-foot U.S.-flagged fishing vessel, abandoned ship at 10 a.m. local time about 1,800 miles (2,900 km) south of Hawaii and got into two life rafts, four boats before they were recovered seven hours later, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

No injuries were reported, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard received notification of a fire aboard the ship at about 8:30 a.m. local time. Before rescue crews arrived, the captain and eight crew members reboarded the vessel and extinguished the fire. They also restarted the ship's generator, communication systems and electricity, the Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard airplane arrived at the scene at about 5:15 p.m. local time and dropped a pump, flash lights and flares to the crew. The Fong Seong 888, a Tuvalu-flagged oil tanker, arrived a short time later and recovered the 33 other crew members, according to the Coast Guard.

American Eagle's sister ship, American Victory, is expected to arrive in three days to relieve the oil tanker, the Coast Guard said.  

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)