When it comes to helping those in distress, the U.S. Coast Guard will literally traverse the globe to be of assistance.
Case and point: When 36 fishermen in a remote area of the South Pacific were forced to abandoned ship after a fire engulfed the engine room on Saturday, the Coast Guard's Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu -- about 2,000 miles away -- answered the call.
As the crew of the Papua New Guinea-flagged commercial purse seiner floated in 10-foot seas on skiffs and life rafts, the Coast Guard launched an HC-130 Hercules aircrew to fly out to locate the vessel and assess the situation.
The Hercules crew then identified a nearby ship and dropped smoke flares to guide the good Samaritan rescue ship to the location. The Coast Guard also provided water to the stranded fishermen as they waited.
The fishermen reportedly spent more than 10 hours awaiting rescue.
No injuries were reported and the fishing vessel was last seen "fully engulfed in flame, unmanned, unpowered and adrift," the Coast Guard said in a release.
The Coast Guard crew flew more than 4,500 miles to coordinate and assist in the rescue. They spent the night in American Samoa before returning to their home station in Hawaii.
The Coast Guard's 14th District, which is based in Hawaii, is responsible for more than 12.2 million square miles of land and sea, "an area almost twice the size of Russia," according to a release.
Thankfully, as the Coast Guard motto "Semper Paratus" says, they are always ready.
Below, watch a U.S. Coast Guard video of the rescue effort:
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