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French Ship Surcouf Assists Vessel In Distress

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080721-07
Release Date: 7/21/2008 4:39:00 PM

From Commander, Task Force 150 Public Affairs

FS SURCOUF, At Sea (NNS) -- July 18, French Ship Surcouf (F711) operating as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, provided assistance to the Panamanian-flagged Motor Vessel Karam Allah, which suffered engine failure nine days earlier after it ran out of fuel off the coast of Oman.

The vessel and its 19-person crew were slowly drifting towards the Kuria Muria Islands before Surcouf arrived on station.

Multiple attempts were made by Motor Vessel Jaikur 1, Karam Allah's sister-ship, to take the crippled ship under tow. When these attempts failed, rough seas, the powerless state of the ship and its proximity to land, forced the crew to abandon ship.

Surcouf, under the command of Cmdr. Pierre Vandier, monitored the situation and remained in close proximity to assist. When requested, Surcouf conducted a boat transfer for the 19 crew members from Karam Allah to Jaikur 1.

"We departed the premises once the crew was safely aboard the sister ship," said Vandier. "It always feels great to know that you helped save lives and avoid a tragedy."

Coalition forces have a long standing tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing assistance, such as food, water and rescues at sea. This marks the fifth time in five weeks Coalition ships have rendered assistance in the Combined Maritime Forces area of operations.

CTF 150 is a Coalition Task Force that conducts maritime security operations (MSO) from the Red Sea to the Strait of Hormuz through the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, and the Northern Arabian Sea. By countering terrorism in the maritime environment, CTF 150 allows legitimate mariners to operate safely in the area. Countries such as Canada, France, Germany, Pakistan, U.K. and the United States regularly contribute forces to CTF 150.

MSO help develop security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit

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