US ships aid distressed Iranian mariners

Two US warships deployed to the Gulf in support of maritime security operations on Tuesday (November 29th) came to the aid of six Iranian mariners in distress.

USS Hopper and USS Monterey received a distress call from a small Iranian fishing dhow via bridge-to-bridge radio, the US Naval Forces Central Command reported.

Monterey sent its helicopter to locate the vessel, while Hopper prepared its boarding team to render immediate assistance.

After Hopper's sailors boarded the vessel, they found the six mariners aboard were ill. They provided the Iranian crew with medicine and departed after ensuring the crew was safe.

"Under customary international law, we continue the time-honored tradition of assisting mariners in distress and are proud to have rendered aid to our fellow mariners," said Hopper commanding officer Cmdr. J. D. Gainey.

Ships deployed to US Naval Forces Central Command have assisted mariners on more than 30 occasions since 2012, 13 of which involved Iranian mariners.

Hopper and Monterey are deployed in support of maritime security operations and theatre security co-operation efforts in the US 5th Fleet area of operations.

US 5th Fleet works to deter and disrupt trans-national terrorist organisations and strengthen partner nations' maritime capabilities in order to promote a secure maritime environment.

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