September 15, 2019
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Bath-built destroyer rescues stranded Sri Lankan fishermen

U.S. Navy | BDN
U.S. Navy | BDN
A Sri Lankan fisherman jumps and swims to a rigid-hull inflatable boat from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) after the ship stopped to render assistance to a stranded fishing vessel. After providing food and water, Decatur contacted the Sri Lankan authorities who came and towed the stranded vessel back to port. Decatur is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

BATH, Maine — The Bath-built USS Decatur on Sunday participated in the rescue of seven Sri Lankan fishermen stranded in the Indian Ocean.

The boat became stranded south of Sri Lanka after suffering an engine malfunction, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG 73) was conducting a routine patrol when sailors saw the vessel with fishermen waving rags in the air, according to the release.

Crew pulled alongside the fishing boat in a rigid-hull inflatable boat, and two of the fishermen jumped into the ocean and swam to the Decatur, where they were offered medical and towing assistance. The crew of the Decatur provided food and water to the fishermen while waiting for the arrival of a Sri Lankan towing vessel Monday.

The USS Decatur was built at Bath Iron Works in 1996 and commissioned on Aug. 28, 1998.

Last week, a Chinese warship came within 45 yards of striking the bow of the USS Decatur in what the U.S. Navy called an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver.”

The incident came amid an ongoing trade war between the two countries, and about a week after China canceled military talks with the United States.

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