The U.S. Coast Guard rescued six Iranians from sea whose boat had flooded on Tuesday in the Gulf, the second time in less than a week that the American military has come to the aid of Iranians mariners.
In the cover of night, the Iranian cargo ship sent up flares in the Persian Gulf to signal to the Coast Guard, involved in support of the US Fifth Fleet, that it was in distress, according to the AP today.
More than a dozen more Iranians were saved from pirates in two other rescue operations over last five days.
The Danish Navy captured a suspected pirate mothership off the Horn of Africa on Sunday and rescued 14 people from Iran and Pakistan who were being held hostage onboard.
On Thursday, a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Arabian Sea rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who had been held hostage for weeks by a band of pirates.
Sailors from the USS Kidd, boarded the Iranian ship and arrested 15 Somalis early Friday after one of the fishermen revealed over the radio that the vessel’s crew was being held captive, reported the LA Times.
The Iranian “pleaded with us to come over and board their vessel,” said Cmdr. Jennifer L. Ellinger, who added that the Navy ship had a linguist on board who could understand Urdu, a South Asian language.
Iran welcomed the Navy’s involvement, calling it a “humanitarian gesture”.
The crew of the Kidd not only gave the “ecstatic” Iranians food, water and medical attention. They handed out souvenir Kidd baseball caps that the Iranians wore proudly, smiling and waving as they headed out to sea.