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USS Chancellorsville Assists Stranded Fishermen

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040506-01

Release Date: 5/6/2004 9:44:00 AM

From USS Chancellorsville Public Affairs

ABOARD USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (NNS) -- USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) provided humanitarian assistance to an Indonesian fishing vessel May 4 in the Molucca Sea.

Chancellorsville received a call over bridge-to-bridge radio from the motor vessel (MV) Stanley on behalf of an Indonesian fishing vessel, Adem Laut, that was in need of assistance. MV Stanley was unable to assist. Chancellorsville quickly arrived on scene, and provided supplies and repair assistance to the Indonesian fishing vessel.

Chancellorsville's Officer of the Deck, Lt. Dave Grattan, ordered the ship's rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) lowered to the water and dispatched. The boat crew circled Adem Laut and investigated the situation. The vessel had been adrift for a week but still had stocks of food and fresh water. The 14 crew members were all in good health. Chancellorsville provided ice, rice and sugar to the crew.

Chancellorville dispatched engineers to repair the engine on the fishing boat. Two engineers, Chief Machinery Repairman (SW) Zoilo DeArce and Engineman 1st Class (SW) Arnold Olea, attempted to repair Adem Laut's engine, but the damage was so extensive that repairs could not be completed at sea.

Chancellorsville contacted the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Jakarta, Indonesia, to provide the details of the situation and request Indonesian naval support. The Indonesian navy would be able to provide assistance the following day, but Chancellorsville would have to tow the vessel until additional help arrived.

Boatswain's mates, under the direction of Ensign Shielito Riodique, swiftly rigged a towing hawser on Chancellorsville's fantail. Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Ronnie McKennon quickly secured the towing hawser on the bow of the fishing vessel so it could be towed safely. The next morning, the Indonesian naval patrol boat, Kri Batola, arrived to provide further assistance. Chancellorsville transferred responsibility for the disabled vessel to the Indonesian navy and immediately returned to the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Strike Group, operating in the vicinity.

"This is an example of the goodwill and professionalism of the USS Chancellorsville team," commented Ensign Shane M. Fox. "We did our part to ensure the safety of these fishermen, and we are proud of our crew for the timely and highly professional manner in which they dealt with this call for assistance."

Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class cruiser serving as part of Carrier Group 5, the Kitty Hawk Strike Group, in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces operating from Yokosuka, Japan.

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