16 Mar 2012

Injured fishermen flown from Marshalls to US

1:09 pm on 16 March 2012

Five fishermen on an American purse seiner have been injured during fishing operations on the high seas, forcing an emergency medical evacuation from the Marshall Islands to the US.

The US-flagged fishing boat Cape Ferrat was fishing in the western Pacific when the boom that controls its massive fishing net used to catch tuna collapsed, falling on several of the crew members.

The captain John Cabral, says one of the crew suffered a severely broken ankle, while others suffered broken bones and other injuries from the accident that needed urgent medical attention.

The injured fishermen are Vietnamese, Tongan, Colombian and Filipino.

The US embassy in Majuro helped to get medical parole waivers for the non-US crew to enter Hawaii without a visa.

A special medical evacuation flight was organised with a company in Hawaii that dispatched a plane to pick up the injured crew to transport them to Honolulu for treatment.