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U.S. sailors from the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill helped mariners stranded on a distressed vessel about 70 miles off Somalia on Thursday, according to a U.S. Navy 5th Fleet statement released Sunday.

The 15-man crew aboard the Indian-flagged Bhakti Sagar radioed the Oak Hill for help, saying they needed food, water and fuel, the release read.

The Oak Hill provided 3,000 gallons of fresh water, 110 pounds each of flour and rice, processed meat and two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat. The crew also received hot dinners from Oak Hill’s galley, 3,900 gallons of JP5 diesel fuel, medical supplies and more than 30 pairs of sandals.

“The crew was scared at first, but after they saw we were there to help them they calmed down,” said Seaman Nicholas Cheramie, part of a team that boarded the vessel.

The Oak Hill, homeported in Little Creek, Va., deployed in late January. It is conducting maritime security operations as part of the Dutch-led coalition Task Force 150, which operates in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.


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