GULF OF OMAN (Feb. 7, 2011) — Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ship HMS Iron Duke, on deployment to the Middle East, responded to a medical emergency on board a Korean fishing vessel, the MV Golden Lake, in the Gulf of Oman on Feb 4.
Iron Duke, a Type 23 frigate, was conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf of Oman as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, when she was informed of a medical emergency on board the Golden Lake. Following an accident on board the fishing vessel, one of its crew had been left unconscious and with facial injuries; his colleagues requested assistance. Iron Duke was the closest CMF unit the Golden Lake, then 170 miles away.
The ship’s team made contact with the crew of the Golden Lake and established that the mariner needed urgent treatment, so Iron Duke commenced her mercy dash.
As darkness fell, Iron Duke’s doctor, Surgeon Lieutenant Mike Robinson, was dispatched to the Golden Lake by rigid hull inflatable boat, escorted by the ship’s Royal Marine detachment with Iron Duke’s helicopter, overhead in support. Once on board, Surgeon Lieutenant Robinson was able to stabilize the mariner sufficiently to allow him to be retained on the Golden Lake for transport to a suitable medical facility for further treatment.
Commander Nick Cooke-Priest, Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer, said: “Assisting those in distress is second nature to seafarers where mutual support is such a key tenet of our environment. I am pleased that Iron Duke was able to help on this occasion and I hope the injured fisherman makes a full recovery.”
The Commander of the Republic of Korea naval task force that is currently deployed to the Middle East, Captain Cho Young Joo, thanked Iron Duke for helping his fellow countrymen. “I would like to convey my sincerest appreciation for all the support you have provided. The matter could have been exacerbated if an immediate response from Iron Duke was not received,” he said.
CTF 150 is one of three maritime task forces operated by CMF. Its mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities which terrorists use to fund or conceal their activities.
CMF is a unique naval partnership based in Bahrain, consisting of 25 member nations, which contribute ships, aircraft and personnel in support of the mission.
CMF works to promote security and prosperity across some 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East and is committed to defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.