INDIAN OCEAN (July 8, 2011) A stranded fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean, discovered by helicopters from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN73), awaits rescue. George Washington sent Sailors in rigid hulled inflatable boats and helicopters to assist the civilians who were then taken to USS Cowpens (CG 63). (US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Pittman)
INDIAN OCEAN - The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) and the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens (CG 63) came to the aid and support of an Indonesian-flagged fishing vessel in distress, July 8 while en route to Australia to participate in exercise Talisman Sabre 2011.
“This is an example of what the United States Navy does best,” said George Washington’s Commanding Officer, Capt. David A. Lausman. “When a fellow mariner is in need of help, it is our responsibility to come to their aid. That’s what we did today and I’m very proud of the way our crew responded to this situation.”
While conducting a replenishment-at-sea, helicopter pilots in the air and assigned to George Washington first noticed the small fishing vessel KM Jimmy Wijaya 9. The boat appeared to be dead in the water with the crew topside, wearing lifejackets and waving to the helicopters for help. Two crewmembers from the distressed vessel jumped into the water and were rescued by search and rescue swimmers from one of the helicopters.
“No one on the boat was injured but they’ve been out here for a while and are pretty thirsty,” said George Washington’s navigator, Cmdr. Wes McCall.
The crew of the fishing vessel reported that they had been adrift for eight days without food and water.
INDIAN OCEAN (July 8, 2011) Sailors from aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) approach a crippled Indonesian fishing vessel after transporting crew members to USS Cowpens (CG 63). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2rd Class Adam K. Thomas)