Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The San Diego-based USS Rentz rescued the crew of a fishing vessel that had been stranded at sea off the coast of Ecuador for more than a week.
The men aboard the fishing boat were nearly out of food and surviving on bananas when the Rentz found them.
Rough weather had disoriented the fishing vessel's crew, putting them 100 nautical miles off-course. They ran out of fuel and were adrift for 10 days.
The distressed vessel was spotted early Sunday morning, Oct. 20 by Rentz' forward lookouts, who reported the small craft roughly 6,000 yards forward of the ship's position.
The ship swiftly responded and launched a rigid-hull inflatable boat to investigate the situation with embarked U.S. Coast Guard LEDET personnel.
When the Rentz and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment arrived on the scene, they provided the mariners with MREs and enough fuel to make it back home.
The USS Rentz deployed from San Diego in July. The ship is taking part in Operation Martillo, which the U.S. Navy describes as a partnership between the United States, Europe and other Western Hemisphere nations to target "illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus."