A U.S. Coast Guard ship, assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 55, rendered aid to six Iranian mariners from a distressed vessel in the North Arabian Gulf, Jan. 10.
At approximately 3 a.m. local time, Island-Class Patrol Boat USCGC Monomoy (WPB-1326) operating in the area; when it was hailed by flares and flashlights from the Iranian cargo dhow, Ya-Hussayn. The dhow’s master requested assistance from Monomoy indicating the engine room was flooding and deemed not seaworthy.
Monomoy immediately launched their small boat and approached the Ya-Hussayn. Two persons were rescued from the vessel, and four from a life raft tied off to the dhow’s stern.
The six Iranian mariners were transferred from the dhow to Monomoy. They were provided water, blankets, and halal meals. Halal meals are in accordance with Islamic law and are stored aboard U.S. Coast Guard ships to provide to Muslim mariners in distress.
An emergency medical technician from Monomoy treated an injured crew member. Fortunately, his injuries were not serious and there was no requirement for him to be medically evacuated.
Boatswain Mate 2nd Class Emily Poole, Monomoy’s medic, expressed her sentiments about assisting mariners at sea. “Saving lives is the last thing you expect to do at 0300 while patrolling in the Northern Arabian Gulf, but being in the Coast Guard, that’s what we are trained to do.”
A civilian interpreter aboard Monomoy provided the initial contact with the Iranian Rescue Coordination Center to report the status of the Ya-Hussayn and coordinate the transfer of the Iranian mariners from Monomoy to shore. Civilian interpreters are routinely embarked on USCG vessels operating within the Arabian Gulf.
The master of the Iranian vessel, who also spoke with the Rescue Coordination Center, was appreciative for the assistance to his crew and grateful for the efforts to get them home.
Hakim Hamid-Awi, the owner of the Ya-Hassan stated, “Without your help, we were dead. Thank you for all that you did for us.” The Iranian mariners wished the best for the Captain and crew.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., the six mariners were transferred by rigid hull inflatable boats from Monomoy to the Iranian Coast Guard vessel Naji 7.
The Captain of the Naji 7, via translator, said, “Sends his regards and thanks to our Captain and all crewmembers for assisting, and taking care of the Iranian sailors. Wishes us the best, and thanks us for our cooperation.”
Monomoy departed the area to continue its mission.
U.S. Navy Capt. Edward Cashman, Commander of Task Force 55, commended Monomoy’s actions. “Monomoy displayed exceptional skill and professionalism during the night time rescue at sea. Monomoy’s presence in the Northern Gulf and the effective coordination of the rescue proves again the value of coalition maritime security operations.”
Monomoy is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
Naval Today Staff , January 11, 2012; Image: navy