The boaters, missing since September 8, were found by a Navy Commander Task Force (CTF)-72 P-8 Poseidon aircrew, 224 statute miles east northeast of Satawan Atoll and were then rescued by the crew of the patrol vessel FSS Micronesia.
The rescued boaters were brought to Pohnpei to meet emergency medical personnel for evaluation, reportedly arriving in good health in spite of being adrift for 145 hours.
JRSC Guam watchstanders had received a report from the Federated States of Micronesia Police indicating that four adults and three children were overdue while transiting 16 miles from Lukunor Atoll to the Satawan Atoll.
The FSM Police used their patrol boats to search while JRSC Guam watchstanders deployed an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules from Hawaii and needed further support from the Navy and Air Force.
Good Samaritans from Caroline Island Air and the Bahamian-flagged 580-foot bulk carrier African Swan also volunteered to help with searching for the missing boaters.
During the multiday search, JRSC Guam watchstanders worked together with technical experts and response crews to refine the search area. The HC-130 Hercules used self-locating datum marker buoys to determine the movement of the ocean currents in the area. That data was added into search planning to improve the drift models and increase the chances of finding the vessel.
On September 14, while carrying out a search plan developed by JSRC Guam watchstanders, the Poseidon aircrew located the adrift vessel and vectored in the FSS Micronesia who rescued all seven boaters.
The weather throughout the region was challenging during this case with 7 to 8-foot seas, strong winds, and frequent rain squalls.
This case is a testament to the importance of our strong relationships throughout the Pacific region. Through coordination with our partners in the Federated States of Micronesia, good Samaritans, and our fellow service members from the Navy and Air Force we were able to a bring this case to a successful conclusion. Thank you to everyone that contributed to the successful outcome of this search and rescue case
stated Lt. Cmdr. Tory Saxon, a JSRC Guam search and rescue mission coordinator.