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U.S. Navy vessel assists two adrift Iranians

By the CNN Wire Staff
The USS Oscar Austin provided assistance to the civilian Iranian sailors.
The USS Oscar Austin provided assistance to the civilian Iranian sailors.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. Navy assists two Iranian sailors
  • The two were found in life raft in Persian Gulf
  • Iranians thanked USS Oscar Austin for assistance
RELATED TOPICS
  • U.S. Navy
  • Iran
  • Sailing

(CNN) -- A U.S. Navy destroyer helped two Iranian civilian sailors found Thursday floating in a life raft in the Persian Gulf.

A merchant vessel spotted the raft and launched a flare, the U.S. Fifth Fleet said in a statement.

The USS Oscar Austin located the raft about 1,000 yards outside of Iranian territorial waters, the Navy said.

"After providing the two distressed mariners food and water, a rigid-hulled inflatable boat from Oscar Austin towed the life raft closer to the ship in the event the men required any urgent aid or further assistance," according to the Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet.

The Iranians said their boat sank the night before, and they were unaware of what became of their shipmates, the statement said.

An Iranian Coast Guard vessel retrieved the two sailors, and its crew thanked the Austin crew for their assistance.

"We're glad that we were able to coordinate the rescue of the mariners with the Iranian Coast Guard," said Lt. Cmdr. Steve Ansuinni.