U.S. Navy rescues 8 Iranian fishermen in Arabian Sea

12:31, August 22, 2010      

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A carrier of the Bahrain-based U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet has rescued eight Iranian fishermen after their vessel went on fire in the Arabian Sea, the Navy said in a statement.

An F/A-18 Hornet warplane with Harry S. Truman Carrier spotted on Wednesday a vessel that was on fire about 50 miles from the carrier.

Two SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters were dispatched to render assistance and a rescue swimmer dropped into the water for possible mariners in distress, said the statement by the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

The swimmer discovered eight people in the raft. The two helicopters carried the stranded mariners to the Harry S. Truman, the statement said.

A medical assessment by the carrier's doctors found the eight sailors "in excellent shape with no significant injuries."

The eight sailors were then transferred via a small boat to the AKL Chiroo, an Iranian Delvar class ship, on Friday in the Arabian Sea.

"The successful small boat transfer was coordinated between Chiroo and Truman using bridge-to-bridge radio transmissions," the Navy reported.

The United States and Iran have not had official relations in the aftermath of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution when Iranian students stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took its staff hostage for 444 days. The United States is also spearheading international efforts to impose sanctions on Iran for its controversial nuclear program.

Source: Xinhua


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