US Navy assists pirated dhow


The United States Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Hue City (CG 66) has provided medical assistance and supplies to an Iranian-flagged dhow in the Arabian Sea after it was raided by Somali pirates.

On August 15 Hue City responded to a distress call for medical assistance relayed by a U.S. P-3C Orion, operating under Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) conducting a routine maritime patrol in the Arabian Sea.

Hue City found the dhow, the MV Payam, approximately 45 miles southeast of Muscat, Oman. The US Navy vessel dispatched two rigid-hull inflatable boats, transporting the ship’s hospital corpsman, and the visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) team to assess the injured personnel.

It was discovered that of the 13 dhow crewmembers – six Pakistani and seven Iranian, two required medical assistance and were subsequently treated by Hue City’s hospital corpsman.

The dhow’s crewmembers reported that the vessel had been pirated and was lacking food, water and fuel. Hue City then provided four bags of rice, six cans of kidney beans, 70 gallons of water, and 50 gallons of fuel; enough supplies and fuel to allow the dhow to continue on to its next port of call, the US Navy said.
“Providing assistance to our fellow mariners is an essential part of our mission here and this was an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the welfare and safety of those in the region,” said Captain Daniel Uhls, Hue City commanding officer.

This is the second time in a fortnight that a US Navy ship has rushed to the aid of an Iranian vessel. On August 8, the USS James E Williams rescued 10 Iranians from a burning boat in the Gulf of Oman, reports Khaleej Times.

Hue City is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theatre security cooperation efforts, and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.