It has been a good couple of days for air search and rescue in the Pacific. U.S. Coast Guard C-130 airplane stationed at Air Station Barber’s Point on Oahu spotted three fishermen 70 nautical miles west of the Pacific atoll of Tarawa after they had been adrift at sea for five days.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, an Air Canada Boeing 777 became a most unusual search and rescue plane. A sailor who sailed from Sydney on his 36′ boat, bound for the port of Eden on the south coast of New South Wales, was caught in high seas. His boat was dismasted and he later ran out of fuel. The sailor, Glenn Ey of Queensland, activated his EPIRB. The signal was picked up the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, who identified Air Canada Flight AC033, bound from Vancouver to Sydney, as the closest plane to the EPIRB signal. The airliner dropped from 37,000 feet to 4,000 feet and the pilot asked everyone on the right side of the plane to look for the sailboat. Soon several passengers and crew spotted the drifting sailboat. A merchant ship was dispatched to assist Glenn Ey once his position was confirmed by the Air Canada sighting.