USS GETTYSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Gettysburg (CG 64) responded to a vessel in distress in the Gulf of Aden May 26 and towed the boat to Yemeni territorial waters so the dhow could be repaired.
Motor Vessel Alaseb, a Yemeni dhow, experienced a serious engine problem, leaving it unable to operate at sea. The dhow signaled that it was in distress to an SH-60B helicopter from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46 embarked aboard Gettysburg, while the helo was on a routine patrol in the Gulf of Aden.
The 11 passengers had been adrift for two days after a piston in the vessel's engine failed.
Due to the extensive nature of the damage to the engine, Gettysburg towed the dhow close to Yemeni territorial waters and safety. The Yemeni Coast Guard then took charge of the vessel and its passengers.
"Assisting mariners in distress is a cornerstone mission of the U.S. Navy," said Capt. Richard Brown, Gettysburg's commanding officer. "Our charter is to keep the waterways safe for everyone whether it be from pirates or the elements themselves. Being able to help those in need is always something we're more than happy to do."
Coalition forces have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing medical assistance, engineering assistance as well as search and rescue.
Gettysburg is the flagship for CTF 151, a Turkish-led multinational task force established to conduct counterpiracy operations under a mission-based mandate throughout the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) area of responsibility to actively deter, disrupt and suppress piracy in order to protect global maritime security and secure freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.