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Press Release | Nov. 26, 2023

U.S. Coalition Reacts to Distress Call

U.S. Central Command

Nov. 26, 2023
Release Number 20231126-01

TAMPA, Fla. – On Nov. 26, the USS MASON (DDG 87), with allied ships from our coalition counter-piracy task force (TF 151), and associated aircraft responded to a distress call from the M/V CENTRAL PARK, a commercial vessel, that they were under attack by an unknown entity. Upon arrival, coalition elements demanded release of the vessel. Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat. The MASON pursued the attackers resulting in their eventual surrender. The crew of the M/V CENTRAL PARK is currently safe.

At approximately 0141 on Nov. 27 Sanaa time, at least one ballistic missile was fired from Houthi controlled areas in Yemen toward the general location of the USS MASON (DDG 87) and M/V CENTRAL PARK. The missiles landed in the Gulf of Aden approximately ten nautical miles from the ships. The USS MASON (DDG87), which is part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, was concluding its response to the M/V CENTRAL PARK distress call at the time of the missile launches. There was no damage or reported injuries from either vessel during this incident.

“Maritime domain security is essential to regional stability,” said Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, USCENTCOM commander. “We will continue to work with allies and partners to ensure the safety and security of international shipping lanes.”