U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Iranian Mariners

By MarEx 2012-01-10 13:59:47

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy pulled six Iranian mariners from their disabled vessel in the North Arabian Gulf.

The rescue is the second in less than a week. Last Thursday the U.S. Navy rescued 13 Iranian fishermen after they were attacked by Somali Pirates.

This week’s incident involved six Iranian’s onboard a commercial vessel. The ship found itself in trouble, early Tuesday, just 50 miles south of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr. The Monomoy responded to flares and flashlights from the cargo dhow, Ya-Hussayn. The dhow’s master told the coast guard that the engine room was flooding and the vessel was disabled.

In response, Monomoy launched its small boat. Two crewmembers were pulled from the dhow and four more were taken from a raft tied to the dhow’s stern. The six Iranian’s were brought onboard the Monomoy where they were given water, blankets and halal meals. The Coast Guard says that “Halal meals are in accordance with Islamic law and are stored onboard U.S. Coast Guard ships to provide Muslim mariners in distress.”

A medical technician onboard the cutter was able to successfully treat an injured crewmember, without needing additional medical assistance or air lift, and a civilian translator onboard helped notify Iranian authorities of Ya-Hussayn’s status.

Just hours after their rescue the mariners were transferred by a small boat to the Iranian Coast Guard vessel Naji 7.

The six mariners thanked the Monomoy captain and crew rescuing them and providing them with care. The Iranian Coast Guard captain also thanked the captain and crew of the Monomoy for their efforts.

In last week’s rescue, the U.S. Navy says that the John C. Stennis aircraft carrier received a distress call from the Al Molai fishing vessel. The 13 fisherman onboard said they had been attacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea more than a month ago and had been kept in harsh conditions. US Navy spokesperson said they provided the men with food and fuel for their journey home.

Tehran called Thursday’s incident a “humanitarian gesture.” They have not yet commented on the latest rescue.

Feeling the effects of tightened sanctions against them, last month Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and last week they warned the U.S. to keep its vessel out of their waters. The United States has rejected those threats and has promised to combat any attempts by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz. 

PHOTO: An Iranian mariner greets a U.S. Coast Guardsmen, assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Monomoy. Monomoy rendered assistance to six Iranian mariners, who had to abandon their dhow, Ya-Hussayn, after its engine room flooded. U.S. Navy photo by U.S. Fifth Fleet Public Affairs, US Naval Forces Central Command.

PHOTO (thumb above): Monomoy immediately launched their small boat and approached the Ya-Hussayn. Two persons were rescued from the vessel and four from a life raft tied off to the dhow’s stern. U.S. Navy photo by U.S. Fifth Fleet Public Affairs, US Naval Forces Central Command.