French frigate rescues mariners in Gulf of Oman

US Navy file photo of FS Forbin

French Marine Nationale anti-air frigate FS Forbin (D620), which is currently part of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 50, assisted in the rescue of mariners from a sinking dhow in the Gulf of Oman on February 13.

Having received word of a dhow taking on water, Forbin directed their helicopter, an NH90 which had been airborne, to find and investigate the dhow while Forbin altered course to head to the scene 40 nautical miles away.

The helicopter found the dhow was severely listing and taking on water. Returning to the ship to configure for rescue and to bring aboard their rescue swimmer, the helicopter returned to the dhow.

Aboard the dhow were 12 personnel in need of immediate evacuation.

The aircrew winched the rescue swimmer down to the ship and rescued the mariners, transferring them to a nearby merchant vessel who also responded to the distress call. It was only a matter of minutes after the last person was rescued the dhow capsized and sank.

“We were happy to be able to assist fellow mariners in distress,” said Capt. Chistophe Cluzel, commanding officer of Forbin. “It is a long and proud tradition that we were privileged to perform.”

Forbin was assigned as part of CTF 50, a Royal navy-led task force under the command of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command. Forbin returned to French national tasking February 14.

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