Stranded Iranian Mariners Rescued
by USS Gonzalez Sailors
ABOARD USS GONZALEZ
(NNS) — The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), currently
deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of maritime security operations
(MSO), rescued six Iranian marinafter they had been adrift for
team members assigned to the guided missile destroyer
USS Gonzalez (DDG 66) prepare to board an Iranian dhow.
The vessel had been adrift for ten days before Gonzalez
provided assistance to the dhow’s crew by providing them
food, water and coordinating the crew’s repatriation
after determining their engine was beyond repair.
Gonzalez’s bridge team first spotted the crippled dhow
while conducting MSO in the Central Persian Gulf. Once the destroyer’s
watchstanders identified the distressed vessel, the ship immediately
changed its course to render assistance. The Iranians explained
that their dhow’s engine and rudder failed several days
“Patrolling warships are sometimes called on for humanitarian
interventions,” said Cmdr. Robert D. Randall, the ship’s
Combined Forces Maritime Component assets, like Gonzalez, are
flexible enough to continue the MSO mission while providing assistance
to mariners in distress. Naval assets conducting coalition MSO
have a longstanding tradition of providing medical assistance,
engineering assistance, and search and rescue.
boarding party gave the Iranian crew food and water as they had
exhausted their supplies during the 10 days adrift. In addition,
the U.S. Sailors inspected the dhow’s engineering plant and
determined the engine was beyond repair. Gonzalez then coordinated
the mariners’ repatriation with other members of the coalition
conducting MSO in the area and the Iranian authorities.
Gulf – The guided-missile destroyer USS Gonzalez (DDG
66) transits through the Persian Gulf.
by Dusan M. Ilic / U.S. Navy Photo
“It felt good to assist,” said
The crew of the Norfolk-based warship deployed to the Middle
East as part of the Sea Swap program in February to conduct MSO
and support Operation Enduring Freedom. Maritime security operations
help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime
environment as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security
efforts of regional nations. MSO deny the illegal use of the
maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel,
weapons or other material.