USS Kauffman Rescues Fishermen in Caribbean Sea

The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) rescued six stranded fishermen set adrift in the western Caribbean Sea when their ship experienced engine trouble on Feb. 21.

The all-Colombian crew was stranded aboard their fishing vessel DELTA 1 when their diesel engine suffered a catastrophic failure 175 miles northwest of Cartagena, Colombia. Their safety was at risk as weather conditions were rapidly declining; sea heights were building to a forecasted 12-foot height which placed the wayward vessel at risk.

Kauffman sent a rescue and assistance team comprised of several engineers to assess the mechanical condition of the damaged vessel. While the vessel’s hull was deemed seaworthy, the engine damage was irreparable without replacement parts that were unavailable, so DELTA 1 needed to be towed into port.

On Feb. 22nd, at the conclusion of the 130-mile tow, all six Colombian fishermen and their vessel were turned over to the Panamanian Coast Guard.

Kauffman is currently underway in support of Operation Martillo.

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Image: US Navy