Indonesian Refueling Tanker Disabled and Abandoned in Pacific

Wednesday, April 03, 2002
The Coast Guard responded to a call from the cruise ship Norwegian Star this morning at 1:45 a.m. in regards to a disabled 256-ft. Indonesian flag refueling tanker with 12 people onboard that had suffered a major engine room fire. The Norwegian Star was approximately 220 miles south of Hawaii Island, enroute Fanning Island, when they passed the disabled tanker. The tanker launched one red parachute flare and started a small fire on their bow to attract the cruise ship’s attention. The tanker reported to the Norwegian Star that they had the major engine room fire on March 13. The fire crippled their power and they have been adrift since the fire.

They have reported that they have one injured crewmember and that another had reportedly perished in the fire. All surviving crewmembers have been transferred to the Norwegian Star. At approximately 8 a.m. this morning a Coast Guard HH-65 rescue helicopter will attempt to land on the Norwegian Star to retrieve the injured crewmember. The injured man is reportedly Taiwanese and doesn’t speak English; communication with the injured man has been through the captain of the tanker.

The Coast Guard Cutter Assateague is enroute to the Norwegian Star to retrieve the remaining ten crewmembers; the Assateague should be on scene with the cruise ship at approximately 11 a.m. today. The future of the tanker is unknown at this time.

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