Coast Guard responding after crew of 40 abandons fishing vessel south of Hawaii

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By Phil Gast

CNN

(CNN) — A Coast Guard aircraft and an oil tanker rushed toward 40 crew members who abandoned a fishing vessel after it caught fire about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii, officials said Wednesday.

The Coast Guard said it launched an HC-130 Hercules to assist the crew of the U.S.-flagged American Eagle. The aircraft was to arrive about 5 p.m. (10 p.m. ET).

A Tuvalu-flagged tanker about 90 miles away was steaming toward the American Eagle and should arrive about three hours after the aircraft, the Coast Guard said.

No injuries had been reported among the 40 crew members who abandoned the 258-foot boat at 10 a.m. Hawaiian time and got into two life rafts, three work boats and a skiff, officials said. They deployed a radio beacon.

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