Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The crew of USS Mustin (DDG 89) rescued 27 people from Motor Vessel Olympias when an engine-room fire engulfed the vessel at 11 p.m. local time, May 11, in the Northern Persian Gulf. Mustin, currently conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the area, responded immediately after receiving word from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) of the vessel in distress. Vinson is also deployed to the Northern Persian Gulf conducting MSO and providing air support for multinational forces on the ground in Iraq. The crew of Olympias notified Vinson of the fire via bridge-to-bridge radio.
When crew members from the destroyer arrived on scene, they found the motor vessel’s superstructure burning and 27 people from Olympias jumping into a life raft. Mustin Sailors safely transferred 25 Indians, a Nepalese and one Sri Lankan to the destroyer’s rigid-hull inflatable boats, or RHIBs. Those aboard the Panamanian-flagged vessel boarded the U.S. Navy ship, where they received food, clothing and medical attention. Navy corpsmen report that all passengers are in good health. The cause of the fire is unknown. Coalition maritime forces, like Mustin and Vinson, operate throughout international waters in the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea, conducting MSO. MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons, or other material. USS Mustin (DDG 89)