Coast Guard helps fishermen after boat fire south of Hawaii

AP News
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Posted: Feb 10, 2016 8:35 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard airplane was heading south of Hawaii on Wednesday to help 42 people who abandoned their fishing vessel after it caught fire.

The fishing crew boarded two life rafts, three work boats and one skiff upon leaving the 258-foot American Eagle. The U.S.-flagged vessel caught fire about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii.

No injuries were reported.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu was expected to arrive on the scene later Wednesday, when it was still daylight.

An oil tanker traveling nearby was heading to the vessel. It was expected to arrive a few hours after the Coast Guard plane as the sun sets.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Melissa McKenzie said the Coast Guard crew will assess the situation and the status of the survivors upon reaching the fishermen. The air crew has life rafts, radios and flares with them that they will be able to offer the fishermen if needed.