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News | Jan. 31, 2012

Lincoln Strike Group assists distressed Iranian Mariners

By , Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

PERSIAN GULF (January 31, 2012) — Forces from the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group responded to a distressed Iranian fishing dhow in the Persian Gulf, Jan. 31.  The master of Iranian dhow Sohailia had issued a mayday call reporting that the dhow’s engine had overheated and the vessel was adrift.

At 12:37 p.m. local time, an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to the Golden Falcons of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 spotted the Sohailia with nine crew members aboard.  The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones which was operating nearby then offered assistance to the Iranian fishermen.

A team from the John Paul Jones was allowed to board the Iranian dhow in order to determine the nature and extent of the boat’s engine problems. Engineers from the John Paul Jones repaired a fan belt in the dhow’s engine and determined that it also had a damaged propeller.  Navy divers were then flown to the John Paul Jones and then sent by inflatable boat to the Iranian dhow to assist.

“We have the capability and training to handle these jobs when they come up and we’re just happy to assist whenever we get the call,” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Senior Chief Michael J. Negri. “The best part of the day was when they finally started up their engines and were able to get underway again.”

Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, said, “Anytime we come across a vessel in need of engineering or medical assistance, our Sailors are ready to assist with their expertise – in this case engineers and divers.”

The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.