The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) transferred 277 persons in distress to the Armed Forces of Malta offshore patrol vessel P61, and another five persons were medically evacuated to Malta, on June 6th.
Bataan and the guided-missile frigate USS Elrod (FFG 55) rendered assistance to persons in distress and provided food, water, medical attention, and temporary shelter to 282 persons after receiving a report that an Italian military marine patrol aircraft sighted six small vessels, one of which was sinking.
Bataan launched two Search and Rescue (SAR) MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters to investigate. Once on scene, Bataan’s SAR helicopters confirmed a small vessel was sinking. The SAR helicopters then deployed the SAR swimmers to start extracting persons from the water.
Elrod deployed their 7-meter rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB); Bataan deployed their 11-meter Captain’s Gig and 7-meter RHIB to assist. 282 persons were recovered and brought on board Bataan.
June 9, 2014