The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has coordinated the safe rescue of 20 Indonesian fishermen aboard a semi-submerged 35-meter fishing vessel in distress, approximately 670 nautical miles west of Perth, Western Australian.
On 13 May, the Indonesia authorities notified the AMSA Response Centre that the vessel was in distress and required assistance. Early the next day, the Perth AMSA Challenger Jet conducted a sortie out to the vessel and dropped several life rafts.
The Australian Defence Force also assisted by providing two Royal Australian Air Force P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft and one C-130J Hercules, who were also able to deploy life-rafts to the vessel.
A Japanese fishing vessel diverted to the distress vessel and rendered assistance. HMAS Anzac subsequently arrived and transferred the fishermen onboard the long-range Navy frigate, which had medical support onboard.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority Executive Director Response, Mark Morrow, said the successful rescue mission was a relief to all those involved.
“This morning, a Japanese fishing vessel FUKUSEKI MARU 15 reached the Indonesian fishermen whose boat was sinking and was able to render assistance to those onboard,” Morrow said.
“Their quick response was instrumental to the success of this time sensitive mission. HMAS Anzac was then able to arrive with medical and interpreter support for the rescued fishermen.
“The successful saving of 20 lives at sea is an incredible achievement of which all responding authorities should be proud. We appreciate the assistance of the Australian Defence Force and FV FUKUSEKI MARU 15 in this search and rescue mission.”
Initially, it was believed there may have been up to 26 persons on board. However, this number has now been confirmed as 20, all of whom have been rescued.