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Green Bay Recovers Distressed Mariners in Makassar Strait
From Expeditionary Strike Group 7/Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

MAKASSAR STRAIT, Indonesia (NNS) -- Amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) rendered assistance to distressed mariners in the waters between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi June 19.

Shipboard lookouts first spotted the distressed mariners waving a black flag approximately 3 to 5 nautical miles from the ship, their raft surrounded by fuel and debris.

Once Green Bay was in proximity to the craft, the ship launched a small boat to provide immediate assistance.

"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 7. "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 aboard Green Bay, the ship's crew 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 amphibious ready group-Marine expeditionary unit team serves as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.

On June 10, amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) also recovered 65 personnel in bamboo rafts while transiting the Makassar Strait.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham
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