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JFK Rescues Iranian Mariners in Arabian Gulf

Navy Newsstand

Story Number:NNS040814-01 Release Date: 8/14/2004 1:59:00 PM

From Commander, Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs

ABOARD USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (NNS) -- USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) rescued six mariners from an Iranian cargo dhow Aug. 14, after learning that the vessel was taking on water.

The distress signal was initially received by USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), which was operating with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 in the Arabian Gulf. Because the vessel was more than 200 nautical miles away, Mobile Bay relayed the message to John F. Kennedy. Kennedy dispatched two H-60 Seahawk helicopters from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 15 to the scene at 6:40 a.m. local time. Aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 9, a P-3C Orion squadron, monitored the dhow and coordinated helicopter rescue operations. The HS-15 air crew rescued all crewmembers aboard the Iranian-flagged dhow Naji.

One survivor reported a broken propeller shaft seal as the cause of the vessel taking on water.

Once aboard, Kennedy's medical staff treated the mariners, who are in good health, according to the aircraft carrier's senior medical officer.

Kennedy's leadership is working closely with the U.S. Navy's U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain to repatriate the Iranian mariners as soon as possible.

John F. Kennedy and HS-15, both of Mayport, Fla., deployed June 7 and are operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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