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Wed 1 Feb 2012 01:04 PM

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US Navy repairs Iranian fishing dhow stranded in Gulf

Navy aids stricken vessel carrying nine crew as Washington, Iran trade blows over sanctions

US Navy repairs Iranian fishing dhow stranded in Gulf
The stranded Iranian fishing vessel was sighted by a US military helicopter [Getty Images]

US Navy personnel helped repair a stranded Iranian fishing
boat on Tuesday, the Navy said, even as the two countries trade accusations about
Iran's nuclear ambitions.

A US military helicopter stationed on the USS Abraham
Lincoln aircraft carrier, positioned in the Gulf, caught sight of the small
Iranian fishing vessel, which was carrying nine crew members, the Navy said in
a statement.

The crew of the traditional fishing vessel, or dhow, sent
out a distress call after its engine overheated. Its crew was waving a cloth,
the statement said.

With the Iranian crew's permission, personnel from a US
destroyer boarded the Iranian ship and repaired the vessel's engine. US
personnel
also freed a fouled propeller, the statement said.

"After ensuring the dhow was operational, and the crew
was safe with sufficient amounts of food, water and fuel to continue its
transit, the (US) teams departed the scene and returned to their ships,"
the Navy statement said.

While US officials say such encounters are not unusual,
Tuesday's exchange occurred amid sharp tensions between Iran and the United
States.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment activities
are putting it closer to producing a nuclear weapon, a charge that Tehran denies.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow
shipping lane, if Western sanctions aimed at starving Iran's nuclear program of
funds stop it from selling oil.

There has been a series of rescues in recent weeks involving
the two countries. On Jan 6, US naval forces freed 13 Iranian fishermen who
were held hostage by pirates for over a month.

On Jan 10, US forces rescued six Iranian mariners whose ship
was taking on water.

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Glen 7 years ago

If the shoe was on the other foot, the Iranians would have arrested the occupants of the fishing boat as spies.

Thomas 7 years ago

Hopefully these reoccuring acts of kindness can show that the West has nothing against the Iranian individual; it's the Iranian government that the West struggles with. It's with acts of kindess like this that shows there still is some sense of humanity left within all us.

procan 7 years ago

Its a beautiful thing people helping people nice.Have to ask where has Iran,s navy/coast guard been during these acts of kindness?

worrybeads 7 years ago

@Glen only if the ship was in the territorial waters. To board a ship on his seas is called Piracy .