Posted on November 22, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
French Navy Frigate, Cassard, successfully rescued twelve seafarers from a sinking asphalt-bitumen tanker in the Persian Gulf, in the late morning of November the 20th.
According to the French government, the Cassard had just finished escorting the US Navy vessel, Lewis B. Puller on a patrolling mission, and was preparing for a refuelling operation with the USS Kanawha.
It was during that time, that the Kanawha intercepted a distress call from the asphalt tanker, Durban Queen, indicating that the tanker was taking on water and was beginning to capsize.
The Kanawha then passed on the information to the French Navy frigate, which in turn located the listing vessel, some seven nautical miles from the frigate.
Wasting no time, the French Joint Forces Commander in the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN), dispatched a Panther helicopter from the frigate, in an effort to rescue the unfortunate seafarers.
By the time the helicopter had reached them, the Durban Queen had fully capsized, and was sinking.
The twelve crewmembers of the tanker, all Indian Nationals, were in the water, with some having suffered injuries due to the incident
The panther begun the airlifting process at approximately 12:30, transferring the first four crewmembers aboard a nearby merchant ship, and then the remaining eight aboard the Cassard.
By 13:40, all twelve seafarers had been rescued, and were being treated for their injuries by the medical team aboard the frigate.
The eight crewmen aboard the Cassard were then transferred onto a nearby cruise ship, Sea Princess, which proceeded to carry them to shore.
The Cassard continued with its refuelling operation and proceeded to move towards her original destination of Kuwait, where she will be joining in the “Pearl of the West” naval exercise.