USS Bonhomme Richard, Makassar Strait – USS Green Bay (LPD 20) rendered assistance to distressed mariners in the waters between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi on June 19.
Shipboard lookouts first spotted the distressed mariners waving a black flag approximately three to five nautical miles from the ship.
Once Green Bay was in proximity to the craft, the ship launched a small boat to provide immediate assistance when it was discovered the raft as surrounded by fuel and debris.
“To be able to render assistance to mariners in distress is a fundamental maritime skill,” said Rear Adm. Hugh Wetherald, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group Seven, “The Sailors and Marines of the strike group were trained and ready. Now they are working together quickly and smartly to ensure these mariners are safely returned home.”
While onboard Green Bay, the ship will conduct a medical screening and make preparations to transfer the mariners safely to shore. The origin of the mariners is still unknown.
While deployed, the ARG/MEU team serves as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.
On 10 June, USS Rushmore recovered 65 personnel in 4-5 bamboo rafts while transiting the Makassar Strait.