The guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) rendered assistance to a fishing vessel Aug. 5, at approximately 7:20 p.m.
Churchill, operating under Combined Task Force 150, responded to members of a small fishing skiff waving a makeshift white flag approximately 1.5 nautical miles from the destroyer. The skiff, a fishing boat with six personnel aboard, raised a blue jug in the air to alert Churchill that it was lacking water. Churchill dispatched two rigid-hulled inflatable boats to provide assistance.
Churchill’s boarding team operated in conjunction with embarked Coast Guard advanced interdiction team to distribute boxes of food and cases of water to the skiff. Churchill also filled the skiff’s water jugs by bringing them aboard the destroyer and then returning them to the skiff. The skiff requested no further assistance and left under its own power.
“Providing assistance to our fellow mariners is an essential part of our mission here and this was an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the welfare and safety of those who need us in this region,” said Cmdr. Michael E. Hutchens, commanding officer of Churchill. “This is what we do.”
Churchill is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations conducting maritime security operations and theatre security cooperation efforts.