Release Date: 03 October 2006
Release ID: 1025
Crew aboard an Andrew Weir Shipping container vessel, MV MOL CALLAO on Charter to Japanese Shipping Company, MOL - carried out a rescue operation last month while on passage from Lirquen (Chile) to Yokohama (Japan).
A small 24ft fibreglass boat with outboard engine was sighted some 170 miles from land and it was obvious the sole occupant was in distress. The fisherman â€“ Mr Atauea â€“ was brought on board and his boat recovered, it turned out after 16 days adrift.
Although the rescue itself was relatively straight forward, Mr Atauea's story was more dramatic. He began his journey on 23 June and had been tending his boat while three of his colleagues were diving off Christmas Island. It would appear that a possible squall line passed over with strong gusts of wind and heavy rain lasting two and a half hours. After this Mr Atauea was unable to start his engine and began drifting. He continued to drift for the next 16 days until recovered by the MOL Callao on 8 July. He never saw his friends again and had assumed the worst, while surviving on rainwater and fish.
Mr Atauea remained on board until the MOL Callao arrived at Yokohama (Japan). Andrew Weir Shipping helped with arrangements to repatriate Mr Atauea to Christmas Island.
The USCG at Honolulu assisted the rescue with urgent medical advice for an eye complaint and subsequently they informed Mr Atauea that his colleagues had survived and had managed to make it back to shore.
AWS's Managing Director, Steve Corkhill, praised the crew for their prompt and professional efforts in the rescue and thanked the USCG for their assistance.
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