U.S. and British Navies Save 27 Crew Members from Sinking Cargo Vessel

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Twenty-seven crew members of a sinking Egyptian-flagged cargo vessel were saved approximately 350 miles off the coast of Oman June 24 by the U.S. and British navies. The 24-year-old general cargo ship, Green Glory, reportedly struggled with an engine fire at approximately 5 p.m. the evening of June 23. Heavy seas in the area caused Green Glory to take on water, and a “mayday” call went out at approximately 5:54 p.m. The Royal Navy’s auxiliary ship, RFA Sir Tristram, was the closest coalition ship to the stricken vessel and provided assistance throughout the night. Although Green Glory was able to restart its engines in the middle of the night, the vessel was still dead-in-the-water and continued to flounder. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, headquartered here, directed USNS Concord (T-AFS 5), a U.S. supply ship, and a P-3 Orion maritime reconnaissance patrol aircraft to provide additional assistance in the rescue effort. By 9 a.m. June 24, an MH-60 utility helicopter from Concord deployed two rescuers aboard Green Glory to assist in abandon ship efforts, and help deploy their life boats. Within an hour, the helicopter began to pluck sailors from the Green Glory’s lifeboats and bring them aboard the RFA Sir Tristram, where they were medically evaluated, fed and clothed. All of Green Glory’s 27 crewmen were airlifted to the RFA Sir Tristram by approximately 2 p.m. Green Glory’s decks were awash, and the vessel was taking heavy rolls, as the last of the crew members were rescued. Green Glory, built in 1979 in Yugoslavia, is 150 meters long and displaces 10,000 metric tons of water. It was originally named the Baco Trader, but changed its name in February 2002. The vessel was bound from Bombay to Leixoes in Portugal, when the incident occurred.
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