Stars and Stripes
European edition, Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Sailors from the minesweeper USS Ardent recently provided mechanical and medical help to the crew of a broken-down Iraqi ship in the Persian Gulf.
The Gulf Queen requested help from the Ardent by radio, saying it had no power, according to a Navy news release.
“The ship had no means to repair itself due to the lack of personnel, technical knowledge and few spare parts,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Porter, a member of one of the two rescue-and-assistance teams sent to the Gulf Queen.
The teams found that the ship was seaworthy but had a crack in the hull that caused flooding in some of its main spaces. Ardent sailors spent three days with the ship, pumping water from inside its hull and providing food and fresh water to the crew.
“The crew was very appreciative of our assistance and were very happy to see us every day,” Petty Officer 1st Class Orlando Garcia said. “The ship’s master made a comment that he wished we were part of his crew.”
A tugboat from the Arab Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Center in Kuwait towed the Gulf Queen back to Iraq.
“We were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time to assist,” Lt. Cmdr. Philip Sobeck, Ardent’s captain, said.
Ardent’s home port is in Ingleside, Texas, and it is deployed to Manama, Bahrain, for maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf.