Your U.S. Navy is where it matters, when it matters. Just ask five Filipino nationals who had been fishing in the Philippine Sea when their boat’s motor stalled out.
Sailors stationed onboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) rendered assistance to the fishing vessel, March 25. The vessel was taken out by the current, leaving them adrift for three days with no food.
Blue Ridge watchstanders initially could only make out a small boat and a flag, but once the ship was within three nautical miles of the vessel, they noticed it didn’t appear to be moving and several men were inside.
“We thought it was strange to see something in the water, so we slowed down to get a better look. As we began looking for signs of distress, we noticed someone was waving a white t-shirt, while someone else was waving a flashlight.”
Ensign John Li
Blue Ridge officer of the deck during the response
Responding to the men’s need of immediate assistance, Blue Ridge deployed a boarding team via rigid-hulled inflatable boat for a rescue, and safely brought the five men onboard the ship.
Once onboard, Blue Ridge’s medical crew provided basic first aid, showers and a change of clothes. The men were suffering from hypothermia and malnourishment among other ailments.
“These are situations Navy medical professionals are trained for. Luckily, we were there at the right place and the right time to save a life.”
Lt. Cmdr. Omar Saeed
Blue Ridge medical officer
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