Monday, May 25, 2009

USS Lake Champlain Rescues 52 People Adrift at Sea

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Lt. Katherine Scholz, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 detachment Four Air Operations Officer, assists Somali migrants aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Pilots in an SH-60B helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 Wolfpack, observe members of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain assisting Somali migrants in a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by the helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Members of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain tow a disabled skiff carrying 52 Somali migrants. The skiff was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Members of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team transport Somali migrant children to the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Pilots in an SH-60B helicopter from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 observe members of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team transport Somali migrants to the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) A member of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team carries a five-year old Somali migrant to the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) A member of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure team hands a 2-year old Somali migrant to Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Ayan, a 2-year old Somali migrant, recovers aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 25, 2009) Lt.j.g. Gabrielle Scarlata assists Somali children aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after they were rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Chief Hospital Corpsman Joe Gallardo assists a 7-month old Somali migrant and his mother aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after they were rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 25, 2009) A Somali migrant entertains her 7-month old son aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Somali migrants, including a nine-month pregnant female, are treated aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, after being rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 24, 2009) Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Jason Forsyth, aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, assists a five-year old Somali migrant rescued from a disabled skiff. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 25, 2009) A rigid-hulled inflatable boat from the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain tows a disabled skiff carrying Somali migrants. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by Lake Champlain's helicopter pilots while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 25, 2009) Somali migrants in a disabled skiff wait for assistance from Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by the helicopter pilots assigned to the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 "Wolfpack" while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

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Gulf of Aden (May 25, 2009) Somali migrants in a disabled skiff wait for assistance from Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain. The skiff, originally ferrying 52 passengers, was spotted in distress by the helicopter pilots assigned to the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 "Wolfpack" while patrolling the area. Lake Champlain is deployed as part of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group supporting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Barker.)

Dispatches from the Front:

GULF OF ADEN, May 25, 2009 -- The San Diego based guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) responded to a vessel in distress in the Gulf of Aden May 23, rescuing 52 men women and children who had been adrift in a small skiff for approximately seven days.

The crew of Lake Champlain’s embarked SH-60B helicopter from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45 detachment Four, conducting a routine flight in the Gulf of Aden, spotted the skiff and upon seeing the mariners in distress, notified Lake Champlain. The ship, operating approximately 30 miles away, proceeded at maximum speed to assist the skiff.

Upon arrival, Lake Champlain’s crew assessed the situation and began providing medical care to the mariners in distress. Seventeen personnel were immediately transferred to Lake Champlain and treated for severe dehydration and other critical medical issues. The remainder of the personnel initially remained aboard the skiff and were provided with food and water, but were later brought aboard Lake Champlain.

“U.S. Naval forces have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress,” said Capt. Kevin P. Campbell, Lake Champlain's commanding officer. “It’s fortunate that our helicopter was flying over the right place at the right time. I’m glad we were able to be of assistance and rescue these men, women and children. Our Chief Hospital Corpsman stated that had we not found them at the time we did, the pregnant woman (who was in her third trimester) may not have survived.”

The skiff experienced engine problems, due to a bad fuel mixture, leaving it unable to operate at sea. A determination regarding the final disposition of the 52 personnel has not yet been made.

“We were very fortunate to have come across these people in the state they were in,” said the ship’s Chaplain, Lt.j.g. Jarrod Johnson. “Seeing their condition really makes your heart go out to them. You can see the relief and hope in their eyes, and hear it in their conversation.”

Lake Champlain, deployed as part of the USS Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, is operating as part of the Commander Task force (CTF) 51 and is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO helps develop security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complements the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists’ use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

(Report from a Combined Maritime Forces Public Affairs news release.)

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3 Comments:

Blogger Mary said...

Good job LKC our country is so proud of you!!

7:16 PM EDT  
Blogger somethinspecial.com said...

I'm so proud of you Rebecca and the USS Lake Champlain. Thank you for keeping us all safe.

11:16 PM EDT  
Blogger joseph said...

I'M HONORED TO KNOW ONE OF THESE BOYS!! WE LIVE IN THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN JUST LIKE HIM!! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SEEK OUT EVIL TO MAKE OUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE!!

1:08 PM EDT  

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