Tuesday, November 19, 2013

USS Rentz Coordinates Successful Transfer of Rescued Fishermen with Canadian Warship, HMCS Edmonton.

USS Rentz Coordinates Successful Transfer of Rescued Fishermen with Canadian Warship, HMCS Edmonton.

By Ensign John Baldwin, USS RENTZ (FFG-46) Public Affairs Officer
USS RENTZ, at sea (NNS) -- What began as an isolated Safety-of-Life-at-Sea (SOLAS) operation quickly turned into a coordinated effort between the Canadian ship Edmonton (MM 703), a Kingston Class Mine Countermeasure Ship, and the USS RENTZ (FFG 46) in the U.S. 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR)

During routine Counter Transnational Organized Crime (C-TOC) operations, Rentz and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment Team (LEDET) performed yet another rescue mission for a small vessel stranded off the coast of Guatemala.

The event, which marks the Rentz' third successful SOLAS operation in recent months, resulted in the rescue of three South American fishermen. The three men, fatigued and disoriented, were brought onboard and provided with food, water and temporary living arrangements. Their abandoned vessel, deemed a safety and navigation hazard, was destroyed.

Later in the week, HMCS Edmonton (MM 703) and Rentz coordinated the transfer of three more South American nationals rescued in a non-related SOLAS operation. The two ships rendezvoused outside Guatemalan territorial waters to offload three Ecuadorian fishermen to Rentz in an effort to consolidate rescue operations to the frigate.

"It was a pleasure to work with our Canadian partners", said Ensign Matt Trout, a Rentz watch stander that evening. "They were extremely professional and very familiar with U.S. Navy procedures."

The coordination highlights the continued efforts between partner nations operating in the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of responsibility to render assistance to vessels in distress on the high seas. Both ships are currently conducting C-TOC operations in the 4th Fleet AOR as part of Operation Martillo, which began in January of 2012.

Operation Martillo - Spanish for "hammer"- is a U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force South.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

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