Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) ship HMS Iron Duke, on deployment to the Middle East responded to a medical emergency onboard a Korean ship, The Golden Lake in the Gulf of Oman.

HMS Iron Duke

Iron Duke, a Type 23 frigate, was conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Gulf of Oman as part of combined task force (CTF) 150, when she was informed of a casualty on board the MV Golden Lake. Following an accident on board the fishing vessel, one of its crew had been left unconscious and with facial injuries; his colleagues requested assistance from coalition forces. HMS Iron Duke was the closest unit and made maximum speed towards the Golden Lake, then 170 miles away. The Ship’s team made contact with the crew of the Golden Lake and established that the casualty needed urgent treatment.

As darkness fell, Iron Duke’s doctor, Surgeon Lieutenant Mike Robinson, was dispatched to the Golden Lake by rigid inflatable boat, escorted by the Ship’s Royal Marine detachment and with Iron Duke’s Lynx helicopter, “Charger”, from 815 Squadron, overhead in support.

Once on board, Surgeon Lieutenant Robinson was able to stabilise the casualty sufficiently to allow him to be retained on the Golden Lake for carriage to a suitable port and further medical treatment.

Commander Nick Cooke-Priest, Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer, said: “Assisting those in distress is second nature to seafarers where mutual support is such a key tenet of our environment. I am pleased that Iron Duke was able to help on this occasion and I hope the injured fisherman makes a full recovery.”

MV Golden Lake
MV Golden Lake

The Commander of the Republic of Korea task force, Captain Cho YoungJoo, thanked Iron Duke for her help;

“… I would like to convey my sincerest appreciation for all the support you have provided. I fully recognize that our response was spontaneous and that matter could have been exacerbated if an immediate response from Iron Duke was not received. ”

CTF 150 is one of 3 maritime task groups operated by CMF. Its mission is to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities which terrorists use to fund or conceal their activities.

CMF is a unique naval partnership based in Bahrain, consisting of 25 member nations, which contribute ships, aircraft and personnel in support of the mission.

CMF works to promote security and prosperity across some 2.5 million square miles of international waters in the Middle East and is committed to defeating terrorism, preventing piracy, encouraging regional cooperation, and promoting a safe maritime environment.