Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 12, 2008 17:07 ET

Canadian Ships Tow Yemeni Dhow Back to Safety

GULF OF ADEN--(Marketwire - June 12, 2008) - HMCS Protecteur (AOR 509) and HMCS Iroquois (DDH 280), operating off the coast of Somalia, provided assistance to a ship in distress on June 11.

Dunia, a 30-foot dhow carrying 15 people, experienced serious mechanical problems leaving it unable to operate at sea and had been adrift for four days. A lookout in Protecteur, which was operating nearby as part of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, discovered the vessel at the break of dawn.

Protecteur's commanding officer, Commander Sean Cantelon, sent his boarding team to evaluate the conditions aboard Dunia and establish the level of assistance required.

Once it was determined that repairs would need to be completed ashore, the vessel was re-provisioned and Protecteur began towing it towards Bossaso, Somalia.

"We provided the dhow's crewmembers with food and water, cared for one of the sick and towed the vessel back to dry land and safety," said Cdr. Cantelon.

Iroquois, CTF 150's flagship, relieved Protecteur and towed the dhow into port. Protecteur, Iroquois and the Canadian multi-purpose frigate HMCS Calgary (FFH 335) are three of the ships operating in the Arabian Sea as part of CTF 150.

Coalition forces have a long-standing tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing search and rescue services, and medical and engineering assistance.

CTF 150, currently led by Canada, comprises warships from numerous coalition nations including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, and is responsible for conducting maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Maritime security operations help develop security in the maritime environment, which promotes stability and global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

Notes for news and assignment editors:

To request an interview with Cdr. Sean Cantelon, contact Lieutenant-Commander Marie-Claude Gagne at gagne.m.c@forces.gc.ca.

For still imagery of the dhow Dunia receiving assistance from HMCS Protecteur, visit Canadian Forces Combat Camera at http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/. Video is available for download at http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/common/combatcamera/news/.

For more information on the Canadian warships deployed in the Arabian Sea, visit the Operation ALTAIR page at http://www.cefcom.forces.gc.ca/site/ops/altair/index_e.asp .

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