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U.S. Navy Destroyer Rescues Sailors at Sea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070404-11
Release Date: 4/4/2007 5:04:00 PM

From USS Carney Public Affairs

CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) -- USS Carney (DDG 64) rescued a civilian vessel at sea March 30, with assistance from Martinique’s Coast Guard Station.

Carney received a distress call over the radio from a 24-foot ship, the Lady G, that had suffered an engine casualty off the coast of Dominica. The ship was drifting in the ocean more than 20 miles from land. Located approximately 20 miles from the vessel at the time of the call, Carney was on scene within the hour.

Carney Sailors lowered one of the destroyer’s rigid hull inflatable boats loaded with food, water, batteries, tools, and the ship’s two best mechanics to help the four man crew of the Lady G repair the vessel’s engine.

Chief Engineman Armando Ruiz was on scene to direct the repairs.

“As soon as you came onboard you could smell the gasoline,” said Ruiz. “The carburetor was completely flooded.”

Efforts to repair the vessel’s engine were unsuccessful. With no other repair sources available, Carney and Martinique’s Coast Guard offered to tow the vessel to the nearest harbor. With Carney’s 7-meter boat, the Lady G was towed 22 miles and nearly four hours away to Marigot Bay, Dominica. Upon arrival, a Marigot Bay security vessel safely escorted the Lady G in to shore.

Cmdr. Pat Shea, Carney’s commanding officer, was proud of the crew’s actions. “Being at the right place at the right time enabled Carney Sailors to exercise a classic mission known to all sailors: helping other mariners in distress. It was great to see our Sailors perform as trained.”

Carney, homeported in Mayport, Fla., is operating throughout the Caribbean area conducting Theater Security Cooperation events to include military-to-military exchanges, multinational exercises and training, diplomatic port visits, and community relations activities. Carney is deployed under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command.

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