The U.S. Military Sealift Command recently issued the following news release. The crew of the USNS John Lewis includes members of the SIU Government Services Division.
USNS John Lewis Answers Call For Help At Sea
Story by Sarah Burford
Military Sealift Command Pacific
The crew of Military Sealift Command’s fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) gave an early holiday gift to a boater stranded at sea, when the ship answered a distress call off the coast of Southern California.
Lewis received a distress call from a man whose sailboat had been damaged in a storm that tore his sails and caused the boat to take on water. Once the boater was located, the ship was able to maneuver next to the damaged sailboat. The man on the sailboat was then able to climb Lewis’ pilot ladder. Once on board 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, 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 strengthened cargo and ballast tanks. The Lewis-class of oilers will replace the current Kaiser Class fleet replenishment oilers as they age out of the MSC fleet.