Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 25, 2008 17:42 ET

DND: HMCS Charlottetown Assists Dhow in Distress

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2008) - During the evening of January 24, 2008, the patrol frigate Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown picked up a message on VHF channel 16, the distress frequency, and immediately responded. On reaching the position stated in the message, Charlottetown found the fishing dhow Al Rahman adrift with a Pakistani crew of 18 in the northern Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan.

HMCS Charlottetown is deployed for six months in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region on Operation ALTAIR, Canada's maritime contribution to the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism known as Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The frigate was conducting a maritime security patrol when the distress message was received.

An approach party from Charlottetown went to the dhow in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat with an Arabic interpreter. The dhow's captain told the interpreter that he had just run out of gas. He would have had enough fuel to return to his home port if he had not shared his supply with another dhow he found in distress a few days before.

In compliance with the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention, Charlottetown topped up the dhow's tanks to ensure it would make port safely. As members of the maritime community, Canada's sailors are always ready to provide life-saving assistance to fellow mariners on the high seas.

Note for news and assignment editors:

For still imagery of the approach party from HMCS Charlottetown with the dhow Al Rahman, visit Canadian Forces Combat Camera at http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/.

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