U.S. Military Again Rescues Iranian Mariners In Distress

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For the second time in a week, the U.S. military has come to the rescue of Iranian sailors in the North Arabian Gulf, according to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

A U.S. Navy SH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter provides support to a visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) in the Arabian Sea, in this handout photo taken January 5, 2012. Kidd's visit, board, search and seizure team detained 15 suspected pirates, who were holding a 13-member Iranian crew hostage for the last two months, according to the members of the crew. Kidd is conducting counter-piracy and maritime security operations while deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.q

For the second time in a week, the U.S. military has come to the rescue of Iranian sailors in the North Arabian Gulf, according to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

This time a U.S. Coast Guard ship helped an Iranian cargo dhow, Ya-Hussayn, with six mariners aboard, that was flooding and deemed unseaworthy.

The Navy says the USCGC Monomoy, a patrol board, responded at 3 a.m. to distress signals -- flares and flashlights -- from the Ya-Hussayn.

The incident occurred about 50 miles southeast of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, according to the Pentagon.

A small boat from the Monomoy rescued two people from the Ya-Hussayn itself and four from a life raft tied off its stern.

The Navy quoted Hakim Hamid-Awi, owner of the Ya-Hassayn, as telling the Monomoy crew: "Without your help, we were dead. Thank you for all that you did for us."

The six Iranians were transferred by inflatable boats to an Iranian Coast Guard vessel, the statement says.

Last Thursday, the U.S. Navy rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who had been held captive by pirates in the northern Arabian Sea, just outside the Persian Gulf, for more than 40 days, the Associated Press reports.

That happened just days after Tehran warned the United States to keep its warships out of the Gulf.