Palau Department of Marine Law Enforcement (DMLE) under the Ministry of Justice assisted vessels with crew troubles outside Palau’s EEZ this week.
According to a report from Jeremiah Ngiratreked of DMLE, they received a call from a fishing vessel in the FSM’s waters asking to transport a deceased crew member to Palau. The crew member had passed away onboard, but due to FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) border closures, the vessel could not bring the body to FSM.
The vessel belongs to PITI and was on its way to drop the fishing crew in the Marshall Islands when one of the crew members passed away, confirmed BPS Director Aguon.
Due to the FSM border closure, the vessel asked to bring the deceased here and is due in Palau today.
Another incident involved a Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel in the high seas pocket that reported a crew displaying signs of mental breakdown. A call from Taiwan Embassy here was made asking Palau for help in evaluating the troubled crew member. While plans were being made to do so, the vessel called for assistance as the troubled person was becoming a threat to other crew members, according to Mr. Ngiratreked.
The vessel arrived in Palau on Wednesday, and only the patient disembarked and was taken to the hospital for evaluation. The rest of the crew remained on board.
Department of Marine Law Enforcement and Fish & Wildlife conducts monitoring and surveillance of all vessel activities within Palau’s EEZ, working in partnership with various countries, NGOs and agencies to monitor Palau’s 603,978 km2 (233,197 sq mi) Exclusive Economic Zone.