Union Crews Rescue Nine


January 2013


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The officers and crews aboard a pair of SIU-contracted vessels demonstrated the finest traditions of Brotherhood of the Sea recently when they saved international fishermen from possible peril on the high seas during two rescues.


Officers and CIVMARS aboard the Military Sealift Command-operated USS Ponce plucked seven distressed fishermen from the frigid waters northeast of Bahrain Oct. 29 while their counterparts aboard the MV Green Cove duplicated the deed 24 days later on Nov. 22 for two fishermen near Mexico.


During the early morning hours of Oct. 29, watchstanders aboard the USS Ponce spotted seven fishermen aboard two small skiffs waving their arms in distress some 30 nautical miles from Bahrain. Weather conditions at the time were far from ideal. U.S. Navy meteorologists stationed in Bahrain reported 30-35 knot winds with hail measuring more than one-third of an inch in size.


Watchstanders noticed that the fishermen showed signs of extreme cold and exhaustion. The Ponce’s captain positioned his vessel is such a fashion that allowed the fishermen to maneuver their crafts close enough to retrieve lines which had been thrown to them. They were later brought aboard the Ponce via the vessel’s accommodation ladder, given medical care, dry clothes and food.


The Ponce returned to port in Bahrain early that same afternoon where the seven fishermen and their fishing boats were transferred to the Royal Bahraini Coast Guard.


Crew members standing watch aboard the MV Green Cove picked up a flashing light on the horizon in rough seas off the coast of Mexico during the morning hours of Nov. 22. Upon closer investigation, they discovered that the illumination in fact was coming from a fishing boat’s freezer box that was carrying two people.


With the assistance of the vessel’s officers, crew members pulled the two fishermen to safety aboard the Green Cove. Once aboard, they were given food, water and medical assistance. Crew members also helped the fishermen make contact with their families and accommodated them until the ship reached Panama.



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