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News | Jan. 19, 2012

Dewey aids sinking Iranian fishing dhow

By Ensign John Tanalega , USS Dewey Public Affairs

ARABIAN SEA (January 18, 2012) — Guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) rendered aid to the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing dhow in the central Arabian Sea, Jan. 18.

At 7:53 a.m. local time, an MH-60R Seahawk from the “Raptors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71 spotted the disabled fishing vessel, Al Mamsoor, with one person on board.  The vessel was tethered to one of two other dhows nearby.

“Our first priority was to make sure that all the crew (of the fishing vessel) was safe,” said Lt. Will Jourdan, pilot of the helicopter.  “After we identified the vessel and reported it to back to the ship, we remained on scene.”

Dewey travelled to Al Mamsoor at flank speed, to assist the Iranian fishermen, who had fled the sinking dhow and boarded the other dhows.

The destroyer’s visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team was sent to communicate with the displaced crew members and determine their needs.

“Once we talked with their captain, it was clear that they needed food and water,” said Lt. j.g. Jason Dawson, the VBSS team leader.

For more than two hours, the VBSS team provided food, water, medical and hygienic supplies, and confirmed that the dhow’s crews did not need additional fuel.

While rendering aid, they learned that the Al Mamsoor crew fought flooding for three days before finally abandoning their vessel.

After ensuring the safety of the crew and providing approximately 150 pounds of supplies, the VBSS team departed the scene and returned to Dewey.

“I’m very proud of my team,” said Dawson. “The crew of the dhow knew that we were there to help, and we did.”

Dewey, part of Destroyer Squadron 21, is conducting maritime security operations on a scheduled deployment with the John C. Stennis Strike Group.

The commander of the strike group, Rear Adm. Craig Faller, commented on Dewey’s assistance to the Iranian mariners.  “I am extremely proud of our John C. Stennis Strike Group Sailors for demonstrating once again their readiness to render life-saving assistance at sea.”

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CENTRAL ARABIAN SEA – Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) provide approximately 150 pounds of food and medical supplies to distressed Iranian mariners. Dewey, assigned to Commander, Task Force 50, responded to a distress call from the Iranian fishing dhow Al Mamsoor, which was sinking and whose crew was safely on board one of the two remaining seaworthy dhows accompanying Al Momsoor. Dewey confirmed the crew was safe and had sufficient fuel to continue their transit. Dewey is conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation as part of the John C. Stennis Strike Group in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy video/released)