By Lieutenant Colonel Earl Brown, U.S. Central Command Public Affairs
Tampa - 13 June 2019
"Twenty-one mariners from the M/V Kokuka Courageous, who abandoned ship, were rescued and are currently aboard USS Bainbridge.
USS Bainbridge remains in close contact with the M/V Kokuka Courageous and is the on-scene U.S. command authority. No interference with USS Bainbridge, or its mission, will be tolerated.
USS Mason (DDG 87) is en route to the scene to provide assistance.
The U.S. and our partners in the region will take all necessary measures to defend ourselves and our interests. Today's attacks are a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce. The U.S. and the international community stand ready to defend our interests, including freedom of navigation. This is a threat to maritime shipping and international commerce.
The U.S. and our regional partners are assisting in the response to attacks in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. and the international community, stand ready to defend our interests, including freedom of navigation.
We have no interest in engaging in a new conflict in the Middle East. We will defend our interests, but a war with Iran is not in our strategic interest, nor in the best interest of the international community."
"U.S. Naval Forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. local time and a second one at 7:00 a.m.
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command received the calls from the M/V Front Altair and M/V Kokuka Courageous, who were operating in international waters of the Gulf of Oman.
USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) was operating in the vicinity and provided immediate assistance to the M/V Kokuka Courageous.
Twenty-one mariners from the M/V Kokuka Courageous, who abandoned ship, are currently aboard USS Bainbridge. A Navy P-8 is also providing support."
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US Navy press release