U.S. Navy Says It Rescues Iran Fishing Vessel

world | Jan 19, 2012 | By RFE/RL 

The U.S. Navy says it led a rescue operation to help the crew of a sinking Iranian fishing vessel in the Persian Gulf in the third such operation in two weeks.

The Navy said in a statement that a Seahawk helicopter from the guided-missile destroyer "USS Dewey" spotted the sinking boat, named "Al Mamsoor," with one crew member aboard on January 19. A navy vessel towed it to two other fishing boats in the area.

The Navy said the "Al Mamsoor" crew had struggled with flooding for three days before abandoning the boat. The Navy provided them with 68 kilograms of food.

On January 6, a U.S. Navy destroyer rescued fishermen on an Iranian boat held captive by pirates in the Gulf. On January 10, another U.S. military ship rescued six Iranians from their distressed cargo ship in the Persian Gulf.

The rescues come amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran over Tehran's threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic oil-shipping waterway in the Gulf.

Compiled from agency reports

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