Navy team approaches the stranded fishing boat
A Navy team approaches the stranded fishing boat. Navy photo

Just days after being confronted by a Chinese warship while on a freedom-of-navigation mission, the San Diego-based guided missile destroyer USS Decatur assisted seven Sri Lankan fisherman whose boat was stranded.

The Decatur was conducting a routine patrol Sunday in waters south of Sri Lanka when watch standers sighted a fishing vessel with men on board frantically waving rags in the air.

After pulling alongside the fishing vessel in a rigid-hull inflatable boat, two of the fishermen were brought aboard the Decatur. The fishermen stated that their vessel had experienced engine trouble and was unable to return to shore.

The Decatur crew immediately offered to provide medical and towing assistance. The fishermen requested for the ship to contact the Sri Lankan authorities.

Decatur provided food and water to the fishermen while they waited for the Sri Lankan Off-Shore Patrol Ship SLNS Jayesagara, which arrived Monday.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.