U.S. Navy conducts third rescue of distressed Iranian mariners

Laura Rozen

The United States Navy has for a third time in as many weeks come to the rescue of distressed Iranian mariners in the Persian Gulf.

"The Navy said in a statement that the crew of the destroyer Dewey, part of the Fifth Fleet, had discovered the disabled Iranian vessel, the Al Mamsoor, on Wednesday, tethered to a second dhow, with a third also in the area," the New York Times' J. David Goodman reported Thursday. The Iranian crew had abandoned their boat which had been "taking on water for three days."

"Once we talked with their captain, it was clear that they needed food and water," U.S. Navy Lt. J.G. Jason Dawson said, according to Goodman's report.

The Dewey is part of the U.S. Navy's John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group which conducted a dramatic rescue earlier this month of 13 Iranian fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates.

The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a second rescue operation of Iranian mariners (pictured above) on January 10th.

Iran's foreign ministry later praised the Jan. 5th U.S. Navy rescue effort as a "humanitarian gesture."

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