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USS Reuben James Assists Fisherman in Arabian Sea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060423-06
Release Date: 4/23/2006 9:05:00 PM


By Ensign Jon Derges, USS Reuben James Public Affairs

ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- USS Reuben James (FFG 57) rendered medical assistance to a Sri Lankan fisherman while conducting maritime security operations (MSO) as part of a Dutch-led task force in the Arabian Sea, April 21.

During a routine visit to a Sri Lankan fishing vessel, the Deuedu Pietro, Sailors from Reuben James discovered that one of the vessel’s crew members had sustained a knee injury five days earlier that had become infected. The Sailors radioed back for medical assistance from Reuben James’s independent duty corpsman, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF/PJ) Matthew Breske.

Breske joined the boarding team aboard the vessel and immediately treated the crew member’s knee to ensure the infection didn’t spread any further.

“It was a great feeling helping out the fisherman,” said Breske. “My job is to provide for the health and welfare of the crew [of Reuben James], which is an awesome responsibility with no actual doctor on board. It’s also my duty as a corpsman to provide medical assistance to anyone else in need of medical attention.”

The Sailors from Reuben James were glad to have the opportunity to help their fellow mariners.

“Providing assistance to those in need is the right thing to do,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/FMF) David Lockard, Reuben James’ assistant boarding officer. “It’s just plain common sense. If you treat people nice, maybe they’ll treat you nice back. We’re contributing by letting everyone know that we are out here to provide security in international seas. Most people we see are just out here trying to make an honest living.”

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorist use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

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