USS San Antonio rescues 128 refugees from raft in Mediterranean

BZ to the men & women aboard the San Antonio.

USS San Antonio Responds to Persons in Distress Near Malta

NAPLES, Italy (NNS) — At the request of the Maltese government, the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rendered assistance Oct. 16 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean.

131016-N-ZZ999-001 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (Oct. 16, 2013) Sailors and Marines aboard the amphibious transport dock USS San Antonio (LPD 17) rescued 128 to persons in distress at sea in the central Mediterranean Oct. 16. San Antonio was more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, arriving on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. The men, between the ages of 20 and 30, were provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter aboard the Norfolk, Va.-based ship. (RELEASED/U.S. Navy photo)

Winds and seas were rocking the raft when it was spotted by a Maltese patrol aircraft. Shortly thereafter, the Maltese government contacted several ships in the area, as well as U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, and requested assistance in rescuing the distressed persons.

San Antonio was a little more than 60 nautical miles away when she was directed to assist, and arrived on scene at approximately 6 p.m. local time. Soon after, her crew began transferring the individuals using two 11-man rigid hull inflatable boats.

In all, 128 men between the ages of 20 and 30 were rescued from the raft. San Antonio provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to all.

Assistance efforts were ongoing as this story was updated at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.


http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=77104

US 6th Fleet Month in Review, July 2013