US Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Watchstanders received a mayday call on VHF-FM channel 16 at 4:29 p.m. reporting the crew was battling a vessel fire.
Watchstanders also issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners and directed the launch of the RB-M and the US Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Gerczak. In addition, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu coordinated aviation support from US Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point in the form of an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews.
The RB-M crew arrived first on scene and saved the Miss Emma mariners. They arrived in Honolulu at Pier 38 where they were met by emergency medical personnel for further evaluation, US Coast Guard first responders, and Customs and Border Protection personnel. There are no reported injuries.
The vessel is still on fire and adrift moving southwest, but it may shift. The team on the Joseph Gerczak recovered the Miss Emma's deployed liferaft after the crew's rescue by the RB-M. US Coast Guard assets remain on the area, and crews are deciding for their next steps.
USCG also urged the public to stay at a distance from the vessel for safety.
We are so pleased to have this crew safe in less than an hour after the initial call. The quick action of this crew, coupled with our training, made all the difference
stated Lt. j.g. Seth Gross, command duty officer, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center.
The Miss Emma is a 46-foot commercial fishing vessel homeported out of Honolulu. USCG has begun a routine investigation into the cause of the fire.
Before this incident, the US Coast Guard, US Air Force, US Navy, Federated States of Micronesia Police, and good Samaritans collaborated to successfully rescue seven people adrift on their 18-foot vessel for six days during a joint rescue mission near the Mortlock Islands, Chuuk State, on September 14.
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.