Monterey Lends a Hand to Stranded Fishermen in Arabian Gulf

Guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) provided local mariners with food, water and fuel during an approach and assist visit to a dhow (a sailing vessels usually lateen-rigged on two or three masts) in the Arabian Gulf, May 22.

The dhow encountered bad weather, which pushed it further out to sea than intended. The boat developed a rupture in one of its fuel hoes, which emptied its tank. The crew anchored and made repeated unsuccessful attempts at flagging down passing vessels for six days. By the time Monterey came across them, the crew was out of fuel and food and low on drinking water.

The Monterey was performing routine security patrols in the area and detected the dhow on radar. After closing in to investigate, Monterey observed the crew waving and calling for assistance. The ship deployed her Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team via small boat to assist.

 “The fishermen were extremely excited,” said Lt. j.g. Jason Coyle, the VBSS team leader. “As we approached the vessel, the crew was jumping up and down waving flags, yelling, and chanting for help.”

After gaining an understanding of the crew’s condition, Monterey provided three hundred liters of diesel fuel, food and water. They also gave the fishermen an updated weather forecast and magnetic heading to return to their homeport of Muharraq, Bahrain.

 “Personally, I felt a sense of tremendous accomplishment,” said Coyle. “These men were stranded and if no assistance was rendered over a longer period of time, they may have perished at sea. The joy in their eyes as we helped them and then the personal thanks received from each of the five crew members portrayed how grateful they really were.”

Monterey is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

Press Release, May 31, 2013