On March 8th, the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) received a distress call from a grounded Turkish Flagged Container Vessel, Yusuf Cepnioglu.
When Bataan’s Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter arrived on-scene the Hellenic Coast Guard was responding to the listing Turkish vessel. Upon request for assistance, the aircraft lowered a rescue swimmer and recovered two Turkish mariners and returned to Bataan. The rescued mariners were assessed by Bataan’s medical team, and were transferred to the Hellenic Coast Guard.
Bound for Tunisia and with 14 members on board, the vessel was carrying 204 containers when it hit the rocks of northern tip of Mykonos island.
The Bataan Amphibious Readiness Group is on a scheduled deployment supporting maritime security operations, providing crisis response capability and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations.
Naval Today Staff, March 10, 2014; Image: US Navy