CTF 150 flagship renders assistance to stricken Pakistani mariners

Crew members from the flagship of a Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Task Force have rendered technical and medical assistance to the stricken crew of a Pakistani dhow.

FS Somme, the command ship for Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, was conducting a routine patrol off the Yemeni coast when she received a request for assistance from a merchant vessel that had been adrift for three days.

FS Somme’s engineers help the crew repair the damaged sail

FS Somme’s engineers help the crew repair the damaged sail

 

Whilst en route to Somalia, catastrophic damage to part of the sail left the dhow unable to change direction, as well as leaving the master with a badly-injured eye.

A short while after receiving the call for help, Somme’s boarding team arrived on board the dhow accompanied by the Ship’s doctor, Lieutenant Gaétan Girondin, and three of the ship’s engineering staff.

While the mechanics set about repairing the broken sail, Dr. Girondin was able to dispense medication as well as looking after the Captain’s eye, which he had injured trying to repair the damage.

FS Somme’s doctor, Lieutenant Gaétan Girondin, examines one of the crewmen aboard the dhow

FS Somme’s doctor, Lieutenant Gaétan Girondin, examines one of the crewmen aboard the dhow

He was also able to provide initial treatment for tooth, back and skin problems suffered by members of the 19-man crew.

Dr. Girondin said: “It was very rewarding to have been able to help these mariners, some of whom suffered from a range of illnesses and injuries.

“I’m particularly glad that I was able to help the captain, because if Somme hadn’t been there, the injury to his eye could quite easily have become infected and he would have lost it.”

FS Somme’s cooks provided hot meals and freshly-baked bread for the crew while her engineers took the broken mast back to their workshops onboard. Less than an hour later the sail was fully repaired and, two hours after receiving the call for help, Somme was able to bid the dhow and crew farewell.

One of the boarding team’s engineers works on the damaged sail part in the workshop aboard FS Somme

One of the boarding team’s engineers works on the damaged sail part in the workshop aboard FS Somme

Approach and Assist Visits like this one are a key part of CTF 150 operations, and allow the ships and sailors of the Task Force to gain valuable insight into the local area. They also help build the trust and relationship between CMF and mariners on the high seas.

CTF 150 forms part of CMF and works to coordinate maritime security operations across their area of operations. Its principal remit is the disruption of illicit activity and promote security, stability and prosperity in the Northern Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

FS Somme’s boarding team with the crew of the dhow they assisted

FS Somme’s boarding team with the crew of the dhow they assisted

About Combined Maritime Forces

CMF is a unique multi-national collective of like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all.
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