Friday, January 23, 2009

U.S. Navy Ship Crew Rescues Indonesian Fishermen

The crew of USNS Richard E. Byrd rescued three Indonesian fishermen along with their damaged fishing vessel in international waters approximately 575 miles west of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia Jan. 19.

Byrd responded to a visual distress signal from the crew of the wooden fishing boat by placing one of its small boats in the water to investigate. It was later learned that the Indonesian crew had been adrift for two days without food or water.

After attending to the Indonesian crew’s immediate needs and determining that the vessel was beyond immediate repair, Byrd hoisted the vessel aboard. Following transit through the Strait of Malacca and coordination with the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, Byrd rendezvoused with an Indonesian Marine Police vessel in the vicinity of Batam, Indonesia Jan. 23 for the transfer of the Indonesian fishermen and their boat.

During the transit from the rescue point to the turnover point, the Byrd crew collected donations of money, clothes and comfort items from the ship’s store for the Indonesian fishermen.

Byrd is a dry cargo/ammunition ship of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, providing logistics support to maritime operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations.

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