U.S. Coast Guard, Good Samaritan Rescue 28 People After Fishing Boat Catches Fire

By  //  September 15, 2018

131-foot fishing boat catches fire southwest of Serranilla Bank, Colombia

ABOVE VIDEO: A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crew circles above multiple life rafts with survivors from a fishing vessel that was on fire approximately 46 miles southwest of Serranilla Bank, Columbia Friday, Sept. 15, 2018. The 774-foot tanker vessel, Challenge Pollux, rescued 28 people from the water in a joint effort with the U.S. Coast Guard and Colombian Navy. (U.S. Coast Guard video courtesy of Air Station Clearwater)

MIAMI, FLORIDA – The Coast Guard responded to a fishing boat on fire, and a good Samaritan rescued 28 people aboard the boat Friday, 46 miles southwest of Serranilla Bank, Colombia.

At 11:33 p.m. Thursday, Coast Guard Seventh District Miami, watch standers received a report from the Jamaican Defence Force stating a 131-foot fishing boat was on fire and needed emergency assistance.

Watch standers issued an enhanced group calling (EGC) message and launched an Air Station Clearwater, Florida, HC-130 Hercules air plane crew. The Hercules crew located the fishing boat on fire.

The crew aboard the Challenge Pollux, a 774-foot tanker, responded to the EGC and rescued all 28 people. A Colombian Navy ship arrived on scene, embarked the 28 people and transported them to shore.

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“We wish those with injuries a speedy recovery,” said Capt. Shawn Koch, the Coast Guard Seventh District Incident Management chief.

“This rescue was a testament to the outstanding coordination between Joint Rescue Coordination Center Miami and our international partners. Although the Coast Guard’s Seventh District is working tirelessly to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence, we continue to execute our day-to-day operations outside of hurricane-affected areas.”