Two Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) warships assigned to Combined Task Force 150 recently helped members of the merchant marine in distress on the high seas. 

In two separate incidents HMCS Toronto and HMAS Newcastle responded to calls for help from merchant vessels in need of medical aid.

HMAS Newcastle (L) and HMCS Toronto in the Indian Ocean
HMAS Newcastle (L) and HMCS Toronto in the Indian Ocean


HMAS Newcastle was on patrol in the Southern Indian Ocean when she received word of a fire aboard MT Perla.

Despite bad weather, Newcastle and the EUNAVFOR warship SPS Numancia raced to provide aid, with Newcastle’s doctor transferring to the Perla to treat two badly-burned crew members.

They were then winched aboard Newcastle before being transferred to Numancia, which whisked them to hospital in the Seychelles.

The next day HMCS Toronto, this time on patrol in the northern Indian Ocean, responded to a request for a casualty evacuation from the merchantman BBC Iceland.

Within moments a medical team from Toronto was in the air, heading across to the Iceland where they found a crewman with a severe chest injury.

The sailor was loaded aboard the helicopter before being taken to hospital in nearby Salalah.

Captain Jean-Michel Martinet, Commander of CTF 150,465 SNS Numancia for providing assistance: “One of our duties as members of the international naval community is to come to the aid of distressed mariners at sea.

“This event with injured sailors was the opportunity for CTF 465 to fulfill that duty and help to provide medical care.

“Whilst on operations, we always stand ready to come to the aid of fellow mariners.”

CTF 150 is tasked with preventing illicut activity in the Gulf region as part of CMF, a 29-nation coalition dedicated to promoting and preserving maritime security in the Middle East.