A fisherman in a disabled boat near Saipan in the Western Pacific shot a flare to alert rescuers.
One evening in October, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Public Safety received a call about a fisherman who was hours late returning.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was notified. It contacted the fisherman via VHF radio, who said the boat was having engine problems. They were drifting near a buoy about 15 miles from Marpi on Saipan.
The Department of Public Safety Zodiac and also the Impact rescue boat were launched and rescuers spotted the flares from the distressed vessel.
The fisherman did not need medical attention, so the Impact rescue boat towed the vessel back to the Smiling Cove Marina. The Zodiac followed behind.
Police learned that the operator left the Garapan Fishing Base by himself. He headed north to fish around the Marpi Reef area.
While near Banzai Cliff, the boat developed engine problems. The fisherman tried to make an emergency call but could not get a signal from his cellphone. It continued to drift west and the fisherman later made contact with EOC via VHF radio.
EOC advised him to use a flare and the rescue vessels pinpointed his location.
The vessel was inspected and had all necessary safety equipment on board.
Read about another rescue of fishermen, this time off the Dorset, UK, coast.