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U.S. navy rescues Pakistani crew stranded off Somali coast

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Pakistani crew had been floating in sea for more than 2 days
  • Navy aircraft spotted them while on patrol for pirates
  • Men were in good health when rescued
  • They were handed over to the Pakistani navy
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Somalia

(CNN) -- A U.S. warship has rescued 16 Pakistani mariners stranded in a life raft near the wreckage of their fishing vessel off the Horn of Africa, the U.S. navy said Tuesday.

The men were rescued Monday after a navy aircraft spotted their raft in the eastern Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast during a routine patrol as part of the counter-piracy task force operating in the region.

The men were all in good health, the navy said.

The mariners' vessel, the Pakistani-flagged fishing skiff Al An Wari, sank in the Gulf of Aden because of cracks in the hull.

The skiff had pulled into port in Yemen on June 29 for repairs, returned to sea on July 1 and sank on July 2, the navy said.

The crew was drifting in the life raft for more than two days before the frigate rescued them.

The men were transferred to a Pakistani navy destroyer to be taken home.