Guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) provided humanitarian assistance to three Iranian mariners on an adrift dhow in the Gulf of Oman, Feb. 16.
Gettysburg stopped to render assistance at approximately 7:30 a.m. after being signaled by the mariners aboard the vessel, approximately 45 miles north of Muscat, Oman. According to the mariners, they had run out of food and drinking water, and had an inoperable engine.
Gettysburg Sailors initially provided food and water for the mariners using a rigid-hull inflatable boat.
“Our ability to help our fellow mariners is absolutely vital,” said Ens. James Barksdale, boat officer. “In this case, we were able to provide food and water to allow these mariners to return home safely. For that crew to know that they can trust us and that we are here to help means that we did our job today.”
At approximately 5:30 p.m., the mariners were transferred to Gettysburg and seen by medical professionals to ensure their health and safety. The mariners were assessed as being dehydrated and given food and water. They were also provided facilities to shower and were given fresh clothing.
Capt. Brad Cooper, USS Gettysburg commanding officer, led the on-scene assistance efforts.
“Today is another great example of what U.S. Navy forward presence does to add to the stability of the region,” said Cooper. “We are so pleased to have been in a position to help our fellow mariners who would otherwise have been in a potentially life-threatening situation.”
The mariners will remain on Gettysburg overnight while arrangements for their safe return ashore are being made.
Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, commended Gettysburg for their efforts.
“This is another example of why U.S. naval presence in this region is so vitally important,” said Sweeney. “Through humanitarian acts like this one executed so professionally by the crew of the Gettysburg, we continue to build trust and confidence throughout the Gulf region.”
Gettysburg is currently deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U. S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
|USS GETTYSBURG CG – 64 SPECIFICATIONS|
|Displacement||9.800 t (full load)|
|Speed||32.5 knots (60 km/h)|
|Complement|| 33 officers, 27 Chief Petty Officers,
and approx. 340 enlisted
|Status||In active service|
Press Release, February 24, 2014, 2014; Image: Wikimedia