April 3, 2002
Norwegian Star to the rescue! Early this morning officers aboard NCL’s Norwegian Star, on its way to a port call at the remote Fanning Island, spied a distress flare. Turns out an Indonesian fishing supply ship -- INSIKO -- had had an engine fire and had been bobbing around, aimlessly, in the Pacific for more than two weeks.
Crew on Norwegian Star began a rescue operation using one of the ship’s tenders. They found 12 crew members on the disabled ship; one was dead as a result of the fire. Another, with serious burns, was airlifted to a Hawaiian hospital by the U.S. Coast Guard and the remaining ten were treated by the Star’s onboard doctor and, according to a company spokeswoman, were resting comfortably. They were slated for pick up by a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.
Interestingly, the rescue mission meant the ship had to abandon its weekly call to Fanning Island (it had to back track to Hawaiian waters to be close enough for the Coast Guard air evacuation) which is only on the itinerary as a necessity due to the U.S. Passenger Services Act. That law requires ships that roundtrip from American ports to include one foreign call. Since it was skipping Fanning Island entirely, and wanted to continue on with scheduled ports of call NCL reported the matter to the Passenger Services Act. And, indeed, the ship will go on to stop in Lahaina and Kahului before winding up.