GULF OF OMAN — The Norfolk-based guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley rendered aid to a distressed vessel on Friday while operating in the Gulf of Oman.
The Bulkeley’s bridge team spotted two men in a small, power-driven fishing vessel waving their arms and a makeshift flag. The destroyer slowed to stay near the vessel and sent the ship’s Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) team to render assistance.
“Their boat was so small we almost didn’t see them,” said Seaman D. Gentilly, one of the bridge lookouts on watch when the craft was found. “If we hadn’t, who knows how much longer they would have been out here. I’m glad we were able to help them.”
The skiff’s crew had no food or water onboard. The Bulkeley provided food, water, and blankets and contacted a regional coast guard. The ship remained with the vessel until they arrived.
“Safety of Life at Sea is a mission the Navy is well prepared to perform,” said Cmdr. Hank Allen, Bulkeley’s commanding officer. “It is our responsibility to render aid to vessels in distress. The Bulkeley team did a great job today, from spotting the vessel at a distance and recognizing their distress, to rendering assistance. Two people will be sleeping in their beds tonight, when they might not have been otherwise.”
The Bulkeley is deployed with the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. The strike group consists of the staff of Carrier Strike Group 8, USS Harry S. Truman, Carrier Air Wing 7, the guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio, Destroyer Squadron 28 and her ships: guided-missile destroyers Bulkeley, USS Gravely, USS Gonzalez, and USS Ramage.