SIU CIVMARS from the fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis helped give an early holiday gift to a boater stranded at sea, when the ship answered a distress call off the coast of Southern California, the U.S. Military Sealift Command (MSC) reported.
The Lewis received a distress call from a man whose sailboat had been damaged in a storm that tore the sails and caused the boat to take on water. Once the boater was located, the ship maneuvered next to the damaged sailboat. The man on the sailboat then climbed the Lewis’ pilot ladder. After boarding the ship, he was given a security check, a medical examination, a shower, a hot meal, clothes and a ride to San Diego.
“Once we got this poor guy on board, we found out that he had been stranded for five days!” said Capt. Dan Glazier, the John Lewis’ civil service master. “I’m glad we were in the area and were able to help. Everything has a purpose, and now this guy can make it home for the holidays rather than the alternative, stuck on the ocean.”
The 746-foot Lewis is the first of the new John Lewis-class of fleet replenishment oilers, and one of MSC’s newest ships, having been christened in 2021 and accepted into MSC’s fleet in 2022. It has the ability to carry 162,000 barrels of diesel ship fuel, aviation fuel and dry stores cargo. The upgraded oiler is built with double hulls to protect against oil spills, and it features strengthened cargo and ballast tanks.
The crew of the USNS John Lewis includes members of the SIU Government Services Division.
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