On September 1, a fisherman was saved by U.S. Army mariners onboard the 174-ft long USAV Palo Alto, heading to Australia from Japan. The man was found hanging on to a plastic cooler lid 10 miles off the western coast of Obi Island, Indonesia.
Luckily, he was spotted by a crew member on the ship’s bridge who noticed something unusual in the distance.
Sergeant Seth Leonard looked at the sea surface and saw someone waving their arms, signalling distress in the waters.
Video Credits: News24 live
To confirm what he saw, he looked again through binoculars only to find a helpless man 1.5 miles directly in front of them. After other crew members were informed, everyone jumped into action.
The fisherman had been holding on to a plastic lid the size of a boogie board for many hours after his boat sank ten miles from the land.
The crew then pulled the Indonesian fisherman from the water and took him to the ship’s medic, Kirsty Moore, who examined him. He was found to be hungry, dehydrated and fatigued.
He was given clothes, food and water. They also used Google Translate to communicate with the man.
“We practise these drills regularly; we train for this specific situation,” said The vessel’s skipper, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard Cordero. “At that point, saving the man overboard became our number one priority, and everyone just kicked into action.” He also said it was their duty to save someone in distress as mariners.
The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, sent an Indonesian Navy vessel to take the man home. The Indonesian Navy gave the US Mariners a plaque to thank them for saving one of the citizens of their country.
References: Mirror, Independent, newsweek
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