Saturday, August 21, 2010
Harry S. Truman CSG Responds to Fire, Rescues Mariners
USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Units assigned to Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (CSG) rescued eight Iranian mariners in the Arabian Sea Aug. 18.
At approximately 8:45 p.m., while conducting a routine mission over the northern Arabian Sea, an F/A-18 Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 spotted a vessel approximately 50 miles from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) that was on fire and in distress.
Two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 7 were dispatched to render assistance, arriving on station at approximately 9:30 p.m.
A helicopter search and rescues swimmer was deployed into the water and discovered eight people in the raft.
The first helicopter recovered four mariners and transported them back to Truman. A short time later, the remaining four mariners were recovered by the second helicopter. The mariners told the aircrew that all of their personnel on the vessel were accounted for, and the helicopters conducted a sweep of the area prior to returning to Truman.
During the transit back to Truman, the aircrew distributed blankets and coordinated with the ship to have dry clothes and footwear ready for the stranded mariners upon arrival to the carrier.
Truman's Medical Department set up a medical triage in the hangar bay upon receiving word that the SH-60s were inbound with the eight mariners.
The assessment by Truman's medical staff revealed that the eight were in excellent shape with no significant injuries. The medical department provided them with food, water and a fresh change of clothing.
"It was a great team effort by the Truman Strike Group," said Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, commander, Carrier Strike Group 10. "It is our duty as a professional Navy and as professional Sailors to help those in need of assistance. We have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress – providing medical assistance, engineering assistance and search and rescue. There was no hesitation on the part of our aircrew and rescue swimmer to help out our fellow seafarers."
The eight mariners will remain on the ship until arrangements can be made for their safe return home.
The Harry S. Truman Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.