In this file photo, Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Ian Stinton, attached to Patrol Squadron (VP) 1, guides a P-3 aircraft as it taxis across the Naval Air Facility Misawa ramp, April 20, 2012. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Darrius Wharton) UPDATE: See a photo of the Taiwanese fishing vessel and the life rafts deployed by the P-3.

ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE, At Sea - A P-3 Orion from Patrol Squadron (VP) 1, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, assisted in the rescue of nine Taiwanese fishermen April 21, 700 miles off the west coast of Guam.

At approximately 4:30 p.m., local time, Coast Guard Sector Guam received an initial alert from an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon from the Shin Maan Chun, the 70-foot Taiwanese fishing vessel. After a request for assistance from the Coast Guard, VP-1’s P-3 located nine crew members from the fishing vessel that was reported to be on fire.

VP-1 spotted seven crew members in a life raft with two crew members still on the burning vessel’s bridge. The P-3 deployed two life rafts to assist crew members in distress.

At the time of the request for assistance, the Semirio was only 40 miles away from the distressed vessel. Once on scene, the 980-foot bulk carrier launched a small boat and successfully rescued all nine crew members.

The Semirio is one of many foreign flagged vessels operating in the Pacific that voluntarily participate in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER).

AMVER, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.