Honolulu – A Coast Guard aircrew piloting an HC-130 Hercules is searching for a man aboard a missing seven-foot aluminum skiff in the vicinity of Betio Island, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati, Tuesday.
Watchstanders in Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a request from Rescue Coordination Center Nadi for assistance in searching for the 24-year-old mariner, Sunday.
According to the report, the skiff originally had three persons aboard while out at sea approximately 200 yards off the break wall. Two of the individuals were diving and one was left on the skiff. When the two divers surfaced, the remaining passenger and skiff were gone. The two divers were able to swim to shore and reported their fellow mariner as missing.
The Hercules aircrew stationed at Air Station Barbers Point was launched from American Samoa Monday and has searched approximately four hours and has covered 1,880 square miles.
To assist in the search, the Coast Guard has also employed the use of two Self-Locating Datum Marker buoys. These buoys help by tracking current and drift patterns, which help refine the location of the search area.
For more information contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at 808-535-3230.