Sunday, January 8, the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu was alerted that the 18-year-old master of U.S.-flagged F/V SIVA MOANA had fallen overboard while bringing in fishing gear. The young man was not wearing a life jacket. SIVA MOANA was about 115 miles south of American Samoa at the time.
An air search ensued, first by the Royal New Zealand Air Force, joined and relieved by the Coast Guard out of Barbers Point, using SAROPS (Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System). SAROPS determines the most probable search area by computing information on weather, wind speed and direction, and search object size. The Coast Guard also measured currents using two self-locating data marker buoys. They covered a 2,890 mile search area before suspending the search later on Monday, after taking time, survival probability, and weather data into account.