USS Taylor, fishing dhow collide in Arabian Sea
A U.S. Navy frigate and a wooden fishing dhow collided Wednesday afternoon in the Arabian Sea in an incident in which no one was injured, Navy officials said Thursday.
The USS Taylor and the unflagged dhow collided at 2:47 p.m., Bahrain time, in international waters, according to a U.S. Navy press release. The collision damaged the right side of the dhow’s main deck. The Taylor was not damaged.
Two of the crew’s 15 fishermen fell from the dhow and were recovered by its crew, the release stated.
U.S. Naval Surface Force Atlantic is investigating the collision, including why the two vessels were so close.
Sailors from the Taylor helped the fisherman repair the vessel’s damaged steering system so that the boat could sail under its own power.
“There was a buckling of the deck that in turn jammed the steering [gear] into one position,” said Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.
The Taylor offered to tow the dhow to the nearest port, which would have been in Oman, but the crew declined the offer, Aandahl said.
Navy officials do not know the crew’s nationality; none had documentation or spoke any English and their language could not be discerned, Aandahl said. “They did a lot of communicating using hand signals.”
The dhow carried no cargo, and Taylor sailors understood the crew to be fisherman. There was fishing gear onboard, Aandahl said.
The Taylor, under the command of Cmdr. George Davidson Jr., is homeported in Mayport, Fla. Its 215-member crew left Mayport on Sept. 30 for a routine six-month deployment, entered the 5th Fleet area on Oct. 15, and now is part of the U.S.-led Combined Task Force 150.