Fire out, seiner crew safe

Fire out, seiner crew safe

The crew of purse seiner American Eagle abandoned ship on Wednesday when a fire broke out on board, and are now back on board.

American Eagle’s 42 crew sent a distress call and abandoned ship into liferafts, workboats and the seiner’s skiff when a serious fire broke out on board in a position 1800 nautical miles south of the Hawaiian Islands. A US Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules was dispatched to the scene, where it established communications with the crew and dropped them a dewatering pump, lights and flares.

A Tuvalu-registered tanker, Fong Seong 888, diverted to the scene to assist, by which time American Eagle’s skipper reported that the smoke from the stricken seiner had lessened. He and eight of the crew boarded the American Eagle, and found that the fire was out.

They were able to restart a generator and re-establish communications while the other 33 crew were picked up by the Fong Seong 888.

American Eagle’s sister vessel American Victory is on the way to the scene to assist and relieve the Fong Seong 888.