Boat rescued off Carlson Island, Kwajalein Atoll
January 4, 2013
U.S. ARMY KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Republic of the Marshall Islands - In a joint effort by the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll and Republic of the Marshall Islands, a distressed boat was rescued late on Dec. 28. Kwajalein Security and Access Control and Kwajalein Range Services Marine Department personnel teamed with an RMI vessel, Li Jako, to rescue the Eanin Meto.
At around 4:30 p.m., Eanin Meto called the RMI Liaison, Lanny Kabua, on Kwajalein to request assistance. A faulty fuel system had stalled their engines and they were drifting off Carlson Island with 120 passengers aboard.
Kabua called the Host Nation Office, who notified the proper authorities. The Marine Department and KSAC sent two boats to assist. Jeff Booty and Yoshi Kemem captained the Peacekeeper while Charlie Murillo prepared one of the ferry boats to act as a tow vessel if necessary. Li Jako responded and offered to tow.
Eanin Meto was visually located by Booty approximately three miles east of Carlson in the lagoon. Many of the 120 passengers were suffering the ill effects from being aboard a boat bouncing around at the mercy of the elements. The stiff easterly breeze would dangerously push the Eanin Meto onto the west reef within hours.
Li Jako successfully towed the Eanin Meto to the Ebeye Pier. Booty and Murillo tailed the two vessels in the event of a mechanical or medical issue that would require further assistance. All vessels, including the crew and passengers aboard, were safely returned around 7:45 p.m.