USS Hopper, USS Monterey Aid Distressed Iranian Mariners
By Story Number: NNS161129-13
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs
Dec. 2, 2016 —
PERSIAN GULF (NNS) -- Guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) and guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61), currently deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of maritime security operations, aided six Iranian mariners in distress, Nov. 29.
Hopper and Monterey received a distress call from a small Iranian fishing dhow via bridge-to-bridge radio. Monterey sent its helicopter to locate the vessel, while Hopper prepped its boarding team to render immediate assistance.
After Hopper's Sailors boarded the vessel, they found the six mariners aboard were ill. Hopper's Sailors provided the Iranian crew with medicine and departed after ensuring the crew was safe.
"Today demonstrated one of our many mission areas our Sailors are entrusted to execute," said Cmdr. J. D. Gainey, commanding officer of Hopper. "Under customary international law, we continue the time-honored tradition of assisting mariners in distress and are proud to have rendered aid to our fellow mariners."
U.S. naval forces have a long tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing medical assistance, engineering assistance as well as search and rescue. Ships deployed to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command assisted mariners on more than 30 occasions since 2012, 13 of which involved Iranian mariners.
Hopper and Monterey are part of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's U.K.-led Commander, Task Force 50 under Royal Navy Fleet Flagship, HMS Ocean. Ocean and its Task Force, including Hopper and Monterey, are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
U.S. 5th Fleet operates in approximately 2.5 million square miles including the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea and conducts persistent maritime operations to help set the conditions for security and stability, to deter and disrupt trans-national terrorist organizations, and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote a secure maritime environment.
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