A US Coast Guard team carrying out a routine boarding of 49 metre Ecuadorian purse seiner Marujita were taken by surprise as the ship lost stability. Both crew and inspectors were rescued by the attending Coast Guard cutter.
The routine inspection was taking place roughly 336 nautical miles southeast of Clipperton Island in the Eastern Pacific Ocean when purse seiner Marujita developed a serious list, with all 25 crew and the 12-strong boarding party abandoning ship.
16 of the crew and inspection team were quickly picked up by the cutter, while another 20 climbed rescue nets hung over the cutter’s side. One of Marujita’s crew clung to the sinking purse seiner’s hull until he was rescued.
‘Fast action by the cutter’s crew resulted in a remarkable mass rescue in a dangerous and challenging situation,’ said Capt. Arthur Snyder, chief of operations for the 11th Coast Guard District.
‘Their decisive response reflects their training and dedication, and shows the types of dangers faced by Coast Guard crews deployed around the world.’
The US Coast Guard cutter was in the region conducing a law enforcement patrol. There are no reported injuries and the cause of the incident is under investigation.