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Crew of sinking 500-foot ship rescued in Pacific

APRA HARBOR, Guam – Twenty-four crewmembers are safe after abandoning ship approximately 440 miles west of Guam Monday.
 
At 8 a.m. Sunday, watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center received report of flooding from the 500-foot cargo ship Rich Forest.
 
The ship, carrying logs enroute to China, experienced flooding in the engine room and subsequent loss of propulsion. The Chinese crew reported the vessel was taking on 160 tons of water per hour and generators had failed.
 
Coast Guard watchstanders in Guam identified four merchant vessels to provide assistance under the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System.
 
The Coast Guard Cutters Assateague and Sequoia were deployed from Guam but were 18 hours away.
 
At 1:21 p.m., the Rich Forest’s crew entered life rafts and abandoned ship.
 
At 4:40 p.m., the AMVER Vessel CS Sunshine completed the rescue of all survivors from life rafts and safely brought them aboard without incident. The crew of the Rich Forest will be taken aboard the Assateague once it arrives on scene. The CS Sunshine will continue on to its next port of call in Japan.
 
The Rich Forest remains unpowered and adrift. The Coast Guard will be issuing a broadcast notice to mariners to warn any ships in the area of the hazard to navigation and to report the location of the adrift vessel.



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