The French Marine Nationale anti-air frigate FS Forbin, assigned to Commander Task Force (CTF) 50-led by the Royal Navy, assisted in the rescue of mariners from a sinking dhow on Feb 13.

FS Forbin was in the Gulf of Oman on Monday 13 Feb 17 when the ship heard a May Day call from a dhow in distress.

The captain of the dhow ‘Al Shena’ reported that his vessel was taking on a lot of water. Within minutes of acknowledging the May Day call FS Forbin’s Commanding Officer, Captain Christophe Cluzel, launched the NH90 helicopter and altered the ship’s course in the direction of the dhow approximately forty miles away.

An Oman Maritime Patrol Aircraft assisted in the coordination of the rescue. The urgency of the situation was clear as soon as the helicopter arrived on the scene. All crew members and passengers were winched off the sinking dhow by the French Aircrew and transferred to a nearby merchant vessel which had also responded to the May Day call.

Minutes after the last person had been lifted off the vessel, the ‘Al Shena’ capsized and sank.