USS Yorktown Aids in Tanker Crew’s Rescue

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
U.S. Navy Photo

From Commander, Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

USS Yorktown (CG 48) aided in the recovery of two dozen mariners March 22, after their tanker collided with a fishing vessel and caught fire off the coast of Oman.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. local time, motor vessel Everton made a bridge-to-bridge distress call indicating they had collided with fishing vessel Chun Ying, resulting in a fire amidships and possibly rupturing Everton’s oil tanks, fueling the fire. Several commercial vessels nearby Everton aided in recovering 24 of its 25 crewmen, who abandoned the 567-foot Greek-flagged ship.

Yorktown, operating less than 80 nautical miles from Everton, proceeded at best speed and arrived on-scene within hours. Yorktown sent its rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to one of the other commercial vessels and took approximately seven of Everton’s crew, including its master, back to the cruiser to assess the situation and coordinate a plan to help fight the fire. While aboard, Everton’s mariners used Yorktown’s computers to send e-mails to relatives, assuring them of their safety despite the accident. Yorktown dispatched its SH-60B Seahawk, a ‘Proud Warrior’ from Mayport, Fla.-based Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42, to aid in the search and rescue effort. They also redeployed their RHIB with several Everton crewmen, a P-250 pump and several five-gallon containers of Aqueous Film-Forming Foam to help smother the flames coming from Everton. One of the vessel’s crew members is still listed as missing, and the fire aboard Everton was reported as “under control” at the time of release. No information about possible oil pollution was available.

The Pascagoula, Miss.-based Aegis guided-missile cruiser is part of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2, currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Source: Navnews

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