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USS Bataan and USS Elrod Rescue 282 People in Mediterranean

A small crowded vessel sinking in the Mediterranean Sea on June 6, received help from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) and the USS Elrod (FFG 55). The U.S. Navy ships rescued 282 people from the foundering vessel.

Two MH-60S Seahawks from the Bataan were launched to investigate. Search and rescue (SAR) swimmers were deployed from the helicopters to start rescuing survivors who were already in the water.

The efforts of the Bataan and the Elrod began when they were alerted by an Italian military marine patrol airplane about a sinking ship. The ship was part of a group of six small vessels. Two MH-60S Seahawks from the Bataan were launched to investigate. Search and rescue (SAR) swimmers were deployed from the helicopters to start rescuing survivors who were already in the water.

USS Bataan Rescue

Boatswain’s mates aboard the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) transport a person in distress on a medical litter off the 11-meter captain’s gig into the well deck June 6, 2014. Bataan provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to 280 persons in distress after receiving a report that an Italian military marine patrol aircraft sighted six small vessels, one of which was sinking. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael J. Lieberknecht

The Elrod, an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, launched its 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) to assist in the rescue. The Bataan deployed its 11-meter captain’s gig and 7-meter RHIB to aid the efforts of the Elrod.

The Bataan, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, provided food, water, and medical attention to the survivors.

The Bataan, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, provided food, water, and medical attention to the survivors. The Bataan, with elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), has been positioned in the Mediterranean since late May in order to be in place for a possible evacuation of U.S. personnel from Libya.

USS Bataan Rescue

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) transfers 277 persons in distress to the Armed Forces of Malta offshore patrol vessel P61, June 7, 2014. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class RJ Stratchko

After the rescue, 277 of the survivors were transferred to the Armed Forces of Malta offshore patrol vessel P61 on June 7. Five other survivors were medically evacuated to Malta.

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Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...