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U.S. Navy rescues Iranian in capsized boat

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 6:57 PM EST, Sun March 4, 2012
The coastal patrol boat USS Firebolt participated in the rescue of an Iranian seaman in the Persian Gulf.
The coastal patrol boat USS Firebolt participated in the rescue of an Iranian seaman in the Persian Gulf.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Iranian dhow sank in bad weather, a survivor tells the U.S. Navy
  • Several ships searched for another possible survivor, to no avail
  • It was the latest in a string of rescues by U.S. personnel

(CNN) -- The U.S. Navy rescued a survivor from an Iranian cargo vessel that sank in the Persian Gulf, killing at least three other crew members, the military said Sunday.

It was the latest incident in a string of rescues since the beginning of the year, against a backdrop of high tensions between the United States and Iran.

The coastal patrol boat USS Firebolt and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Maui conducted a search and rescue mission for survivors of the capsized Iranian dhow -- a sailing vessel typically used to haul cargo -- on Saturday and Sunday, the Navy said in a statement. The Firebolt's crew also recovered the remains of three of those who had died in the sinking, the Navy said.

One survivor was recovered and treated for shock and hypothermia. He said the dhow sank in bad weather Friday night with six mariners aboard. The sailor reported that four of his shipmates died and one was missing, according to the Navy.

The U.S. ships searched for the possible survivor and the fourth body, in an effort that also included two Seahawk helicopters and the dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor. But they could not find them, and ultimately ended the search due to bad weather, the Navy said.

The Iranian mariner was transferred to the Maui, and then to an Iranian Coast Guard vessel.

In January, U.S. sailors from a carrier strike group rescued 13 Iranian sailors from a hijacked fishing boat, and the U.S. Coast Guard rescued six Iranian mariners from a flooded vessel at the northern end of the Gulf.

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