A Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warship has rescued a group of sailors left adrift for five days in the Gulf of Aden.
The South Korean destroyer ROKS Wang Geon picked up the mariners near a busy shipping lane after their vessel caught fire and sank.
Wang Geon was on patrol as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 151, CMF’s anti-piracy operation, when she spotted a bright orange life raft drifting in the water.
Launching her sea boat despite rough seas, Wang Geon’s boarding team recovered the crew from the life raft before returning them safely to the ship, where they received first aid, medical care, food and berthing.
The sailors (eight Indian, two Yemeni, one Nepalese) were the crew of the MV Al Saeed 2, which was carrying livestock between Somalia and Yemen when it suffered a catastrophic engine fire. They had gone for five days without even a bottle of water between them, and were close to dehydration.
The crew have since been safely turned over to the Yemeni Coast Guard.
Al Saeed 2’s captain, Akbar Abbas Chamadiya, said: We had almost given up hope before the Korean warship came to save our lives.
“Our deepest gratitude goes to Captain Han Young-Hee and his crew for rescuing us and providing us with care.”
Wang Geon has returned to her patrol, monitoring international waters in the Gulf of Aden and Northern Indian Ocean for pirate activity and ensuring maritime security in the high-risk waters off the Horn of Africa.
Press Release, August 14, 2013; Image: CMF