USS Underwood Rescues Six Peruvian Fishermen

USS Underwood Rescues Six Peruvian Fishermen

Sailors assigned to the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) rescued six Peruvian fishermen drifting in a disabled vessel off the coast of Peru, May 10.

The fishermen were isolated at sea for ten days after developing mechanical problems with their vessel. They were unable to radio for help after their 12-volt batteries died.

The fishermen signaled Underwood as the ship passed by. Underwood Sailors then boarded a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) and approached the vessel.

“When we got there, [we saw] it was this small, broken down fishing boat,” said Gas System Turbine (Mechanical) 3rd Class (SW) Brian Stankowitz. “There was a kid who was about 11 years old and he was using a manual bilge pump because they were taking on a lot of water. They were basically sinking.”

After providing food and water to the fishermen, the Sailors returned to Underwood to recharge the fishermen’s 12-volt batteries so they would not have to rely on the manual bilge pump to keep afloat.

There was a language barrier for me because I don’t speak Spanish, but when we gave them food and water, I could see the thanks in their eyes,” said Stankowitz. “They ate all the food and drank all the water immediately and they were laughing.”

After resupplying the fishermen, the RHIB was kept in the water on standby to assist as necessary until the Peruvian coast guard arrived.

“We were out there for about five hours and then we came back and did a crew swap so the RHIB could go back out and take care of any needs that might come up,” said Engineman 2nd Class (EXW) Zachary White, who was sent to evaluate the condition of the boat’s outboard motor and assist with repairs if possible. “We swapped in a fresh crew so we could stay by their side until they got help.”

White and Stankowitz expressed how good it felt to be in the RHIB, assisting fellow mariners in a significant way.

“We sometimes forget the big picture of what we do when we deploy,” said White. “We get worn out and we get tired, but when we actually go out and help people that need help and it’s a matter of life or death, it opens your eyes to what we’re doing while we’re out here. It’s a very, very good feeling.”

“I think the biggest thing for me is that it was a great way to start a deployment,” said Stankowitz. “We’re just giving and helping people.”

Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of Southern Seas 2012.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Naval Today Staff , May 11, 2012; Image: navy

Share this article

Follow Naval Today


<< Jan 2017 >>
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5

Sea-Air-Space 2018

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

read more >

Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology 2017

Maximising Maritime Situational Awareness Capabilities for the Safety and Protection of International Waters

Gold Sponsor: PAE
Sponsored by: exactEarth

More Info

After last year’s huge success the SMi Group is proud to announce the 2nd Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology. The event will be held in Rome on the 30th and 31st of January 2017.

Based on the success of the 2016 conference, we aim to replicate and improve by providing a more regional focus, not just on the Mediterranean, but other areas of interest including the Black Sea and further beyond in the Asia Pacific region. All of which have keen collective interest on ensuring the safety and security of legitimate maritime activities.

This high level meeting will bring together senior military leadership, project decision makers, technical experts and cutting edge industry solution providers to explore future endeavours that will enhance the security and stability of the world’s oceans.

The 2017 programme will:

  • Provide a wider regional focus outside of the Mediterranean where challenges are also persistent
  • Feature high ranking military personnel involved with the enhancement of maritime surveillance platforms and systems
  • Present a running theme on the importance of information sharing as operations are increasingly conducted at an international level
  • Include Informal networking time to talk to peers and colleagues also shaping and influencing Maritime ISR programs today
  • Allow learning on how other nations are developing their maritime surveillance and reconnaissance provision from past experience and cutting edge research and development
  • Get to the heart of challenges faced by modern maritime forces such as capability gaps and what requirements they now have


  • Rear Admiral Giovanbattista Raimondi, Chief of C4 and Security Department, Italian Navy
  • Rear Admiral Nicola Carlone, Chief of Operations, Italian Coast Guard
  • Colonel Sergio Cavuoti, Chief of the Intelligence and Awareness Policy Branch of the Air Staff Aerospace Planning Division, Italian Air Force


  • Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, EU Navfor Med Operation Commander, EU Naval Force
  • Commodore William Ellis, Commander CTF-67, US Naval Forces Europe
  • Captain Jan De Beurme, Chief of Staff, Belgian Navy
  • Captain Fernando Angelo, Director, Navy Intelligence Analysis Centre,  Portuguese Navy 
  • Wing Commander Richard Berry, P-8 Poseidon Program Manager, Royal Air Force
  • Commander Michael Sela, Head of C5I Branch in the R&D department, Israeli Navy
  • Commander Pasi Staff, Chief of Surveillance, Finnish Navy
  • Commander Hannes Schroeder-Lanz, Branch Chief C4ISR, Germany Navy
  • Guy Thomas, Director, C-SIGMA
  • Gerard O’Flynn, Head of SAR Ops, Irish Coast Guard
  • Leendert Bal, Head of Department C Operations, European Maritime Safety
  • Joachim Beckh, Technical Working Group Chair, MARSUR
  • Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Hudson, Former Commander, NATO MARCOM







Register online at: or email Justin Predescu on


read more >

10th annual Border Security Conference

The 2017 conference will possibly be the most relevant and topical event to date as we enter our 10th successive year…

read more >

Sea-Air-Space 2017

Sea-Air-Space is now the largest maritime exposition in the U.S. and continues as an invaluable extension of the Navy League’s mission…

read more >