HMS St Albans rescues two from sinking vessel

St Alban's RHIBS approaching the dhow. Image: Royal Navy

Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS St Albans has rescued two men trapped on a sinking vessel in the Gulf of Oman.

Whilst carrying out maritime security operations the frigate was contacted by an Omani Air Force surveillance aircraft and asked to respond to a stricken dhow in the Gulf of Oman.

The aircraft had spotted that the vessel’s engine hatch was open and that something was clearly wrong.

St Albans changed course and headed straight towards the dhow finding that it had suffered engine failure and taking on a significant amount of water.

The ship immediately sent a team of marine engineers on board with portable pumps and tools to help the two Pakistani crew members stabilise the situation.

Unfortunately, after several hours of labour, it became apparent that the dhow’s engine was beyond repair and that the holes in the hull were too severe to tow the vessel without it sinking.

Having rescued two Pakistani crew members it was decided to scuttle the dhow in order to prevent it from becoming a danger to other ships in the area.

Working closely with Pakistani led Combined Task Force 151 (CTF151) HMS St Albans transferred the two Pakistani sailors to Pakistan Maritime Security Authority (PMSA) who repatriated them back to their home nation.

The ‘Saint’, as HMS St Albans is known, then returned to the seas close to Oman to take part in a multinational maritime exercise.

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