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Military

Davis Rescues Migrants at Sea

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070510-08
Release Date: 5/10/2007 6:06:00 PM

From USS Rodney M. Davis Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Sailors of USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60) performed two migrant operations in the Pacific Ocean in late April.

On the evening of April 19, Davis intercepted the fishing vessel Mariana de Jesus in international waters. The 33-foot vessel was riding low in the water, running without navigation lights, in a known drug trafficking area and it was not engaged in fishing.

The ship’s rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) was sent to investigate the vessel with members of the Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment assigned to the Davis. Initially only four to six people were visible on deck, but it was discovered that the vessel was overcrowded with 31 migrants.

The migrants claimed that the ship’s master and crew members had departed on another vessel earlier in the day because they spotted a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) flying over them. The Mariana de Jesus had no navigation lights, no radio, no fire extinguishers and no life vests. The vessel was deemed unsafe and the migrants were transferred to the Davis.

Davis gave the migrants food and water and they were all examined by the ship's medical personnel. Some were treated for mild dehydration and headaches, but overall they were found to be in good physical condition. The migrants were then transferred to the El Salvadorian Navy.

Four days later the Costa Rican Coast Guard vessel Juan Rafael Mora (JRM) and Davis intercepted the fishing vessel Kuerubin with 61 Chinese migrants, all of whom were transferred to the JRM. Davis was tasked to ensure their health and safety was maintained by providing food, water, and medical supplies. All were malnourished and dehydrated for they had been without food or water for four days.

The Chinese migrants reported that they left the coast of Ecuador 10 days earlier and were en route to Guatemala. They also reported the ship's master abandoned them four days earlier, following another MPA flyover.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class (SW) Michael Mayo, the coxswain of the RHIB for both events, said, “It was a positive thing for the Navy to do. I was proud to be able to help those people who were basically stranded.”

Rodney M. Davis is deployed under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) as part of a Joint/Inter-Agency Task force conducting counter-narcotics trafficking operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.



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