Winston Churchill Assists Stranded Vessel

Story Number: NNS080601-02Release Date: 6/1/2008 7:18:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Michael Wilken, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) provided assistance to a British sailboat and her crew in the Atlantic Ocean, May 28.

The sailing vessel Toutamazi and her crew were sailing from Antigua en route to the Azores. Prior to making a final voyage east to Portugal she began having difficulty with her generator, which caused her to become dangerously low on fuel. Another sailing vessel, the Per Mare, met up with the Toutamazi and stayed with her to lend assistance.

The two vessels contacted the Falmouth Coast Guard in the United Kingdom. The Coast Guard then contacted the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG), who were transiting the area at the time of the incident. HSTCSG contacted Churchill and informed them of the situation.

"Being the closest vessel in the Harry S. Truman Strike Group formation, we received the tasking and quickly briefed our plan to conduct a fueling at sea evolution," said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Borden, Churchill's Executive Officer.

On board Churchill, the Engineering department quickly set up a refueling hose to pass over to the Toutamazi. Churchill launched a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to assist with the refueling efforts. Churchill provided the sailing vessel more than 500 gallons of marine diesel fuel to assist her on her voyage.

"As a military officer and naval mariner, there is no greater honor than to be able to render assistance to a fellow seaman in distress. Not only are we required by the law of the sea, it is just proper seamanship and would be expected in return if we were ever faced with a similar situation while far offshore," said Borden.

The grateful crew of the Toutamazi was in good spirits and gave a thankful wave good bye after receiving the fuel they needed to complete their voyage.

"The captain and mates on board the Toutamazi will no doubt share their story with family, friends and fellow sailors and regale their local yacht club with how USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), a U.S. Navy destroyer, came to their aid in the Atlantic," Borden said. "A simple gesture of providing a relatively small quantity of diesel fuel to a fellow mariner will surely go a long way in reinforcing our great relationship with the United Kingdom and other sea-going nations."

Truman and Churchill are currently en route to Norfolk, Va. after a successful combat deployment is support of Maritime Security Operations.

For more news from the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, visit

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A Sailor aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) takes a bearing reading.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of A Sailor aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) taking a bearing reading for the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T AOE 8) before a replenishment-at-sea. Churchill is deployed supporting maritime security operations.
March 28, 2008
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