Out of Fuel and Tired of Eating Bananas, Ecuadorian Fishermen Rescued by U.S. Navy

Rob Almeida
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October 22, 2013
USS Rentz file photo, image by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barke/U.S. Navy
USS Rentz file photo, image by Lt. Cmdr. Corey Barke/U.S. Navy

Adrift and out of fuel for the past 10 days, the crew of an Ecuadorian fishing boat had nothing left to eat but bananas when they were spotted on Sunday 200 miles off the coast of Ecuador by lookouts from USS Rentz (FFG 46), a U.S. Navy guided missile frigate.

USS Rentz spokesperson Ensign John Baldwin notes the Rentz “swiftly responded and launched a rigid-hulled inflatable boat to investigate the situation with embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) personnel. During the two-day rescue operation, LEDET personnel discovered that the vessel and five Ecuadorian nationals aboard had been struck by heavy weather, disorienting the crew and setting the small vessel 100 nautical miles off-course.”
USS Rentz

provided meals, ready-to-eat (MREs) and approximately 120 gallons of diesel fuel to enable the vessel to return to home.

“Our crew is prepared to handle a myriad of situations while deployed to the 4th Fleet Area of Operations, including Safety-of-Life-at-Sea operations. We do so with the utmost pride and professionalism, and it is our duty to assist those in need on the high seas when the time comes. I am very pleased with this operation and could not be more proud of the swift actions taken by our crew,” commented Commander Lance Lantier, commanding officer of USS Rentz.

Rentz is currently conducting counter transnational organized crime operations in the 4th Fleet Area of Operations as part of Operation Martillo which began in January 2012.

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