The U.S. Navy’s guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) stumbled upon an adrift Iranian dhow while operating offshore Muscat, Oman last week and deployed a small boat crew to investigate. Aboard the vessel they found a broken-down engine and three Iranian seafarers who had run out of food and drinking water.
“Our ability to help our fellow mariners is absolutely vital,” said Ens. James Barksdale, boat officer. “In this case, we were able to provide food and water to allow these mariners to return home safely. For that crew to know that they can trust us and that we are here to help means that we did our job today.”
At approximately 5:30 p.m. on 16 February, the dehydrated and hungry Iranian fishermen were transferred to Gettysburg and attended to by the ship’s medical staff.
Captain Brad Cooper, USS Gettysburg commanding officer, led the on-scene assistance efforts.
“Today is another great example of what U.S. Navy forward presence does to add to the stability of the region,” said Cooper. “We are so pleased to have been in a position to help our fellow mariners who would otherwise have been in a potentially life-threatening situation.”
The U.S. Navy notes that arrangements are being made to repatriate the Iranain sailors, however in the mean time, they will remain on board the Gettysburg.
Rear Admiral Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, commended Gettysburg for their efforts.
“This is another example of why U.S. naval presence in this region is so vitally important,” said Sweeney. “Through humanitarian acts like this one executed so professionally by the crew of the Gettysburg, we continue to build trust and confidence throughout the Gulf region.”