TWO RESCUED SAFELY FROM BURNING FISHING VESSEL OFF ANATAHAN

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TWO RESCUED
SAFELY FROM BURNING FISHING VESSEL OFF ANATAHAN

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (October 25, 1999 – PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---Two persons aboard a 56-foot charter fishing vessel out of Agat, Guam were rescued early Monday after their boat, the Ataloa, caught fire near the island of Anatahan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center reported that it received a distress beacon alert from the vessel Sunday night just before 9:00 p.m.

The Coast Guard immediately alerted a nearby Liberian flagged oil tanker, the Charles Pigott, which went to the scene.

The tanker located the vessel, after the fishing boat launched a series of emergency red flares.

The tanker’s size prevented it from moving close enough to the vessel to conduct a rescue. Instead it relayed information to a Japanese fishing boat in the vicinity, the Kayu 2 Maru, which safely took aboard James Elliott, owner of the Ataloa, and one other unidentified person.

The fire aboard the Ataloa, which started in the engine room, caused the vessel to sink following the rescue of the two men. Both are reported to be in good condition.

The Ataloa was charted by the Commonwealth to take people and supplies to Anatahan, about 60 miles north of the main CNMI island of Saipan.

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