A U.S. Navy warship came to the aid of an Iranian vessel stranded in rough waters in the Arabian Sea.
A helicopter crew conducting routine flight operations from Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) spotted the dhow approximately 60 nautical miles from land.
“The distressed mariners were seen waving their hands over their head in an effort to get the attention of our pilots,” said Cmdr. Leonardo Giovannelli, Preble's executive officer. “The Iranian vessel was determined to be a cargo dhow transporting livestock, and was stranded with no communication capabilities.”
Preble’s commanding officer, Cmdr. Allen Maxwell Jr., ordered the dispatch of a rescue and assistance crew, which included a firefighting and dewatering team, engineering team, and visit, board, search and seizure team.
“Our crew instantly shifted from underway operations to mariner assistance,” Maxwell said. “We were able to respond quickly and effectively to the situation and were ready to assist in any way needed.”
But once on scene, it was determined that seas were too rough to allow for safe boarding of the distressed vessel. Preble communicated intentions to stay with the vessel overnight and kept watch to ensure it was safe until a local rescue ship arrived on scene.
“Even though we were unable to board the ship due to unsafe conditions, I am extremely proud our officers and crew,” Maxwell said. “We were able to ensure their safety until assistance arrived.”
Preble is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations with the aircraft carrier
USS Theodore Roosevelt, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 9, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill
(CG 52), and guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97) and USS Sampson (DDG 102).
Preble departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a regularly scheduled deployment, October 16, to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of operation in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.