USA/Ukraine/Somalia

Navy Pro­vides Human­i­tar­i­an Assis­tance to Faina Crew

Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice

MANAMA, Bahrain, Feb. 6, 2009 — The U.S. Navy is pro­vid­ing human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance to the Ukran­ian ship Faina and its crew fol­low­ing the ship’s release yes­ter­day by Soma­li pirates.

U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba
The U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Cataw­ba pro­vides fuel and fresh water to the Ukran­ian ship Faina fol­low­ing its release by Soma­li pirates, Feb. 5, 2009.
U.S. Navy pho­to by Pet­ty Offi­cer 1st Class Michael R. McCormick

Sailors from the Nor­folk-based destroy­er USS Mason went aboard Faina to con­duct a health and com­fort inspec­tion of the crew as well as to pro­vide Faina’s crew with food, water and med­ical sup­port. The U.S. Navy fleet ocean tug USNS Cataw­ba also pro­vid­ed fuel and fresh water to the mer­chant ves­sel.

Faina is anchored off the coast of Soma­lia, near Hobyo, and is mak­ing engi­neer­ing prepa­ra­tions to get under way.

Soma­li pirates released Faina yes­ter­day after hold­ing it for more than four months. The U.S. Navy has remained with­in visu­al range of the ship and main­tained a 24-hour, seven-day–a-week pres­ence since it was cap­tured.

Pirates attacked Faina off the coast of Soma­lia on Sept. 25. While the ship ini­tial­ly had a crew of 21, the ship’s cap­tain report­ed­ly suf­fered a heart attack short­ly after being tak­en hostage. The pirates refused requests to turn over the captain’s remains. The ship’s remain­ing crew includes 17 Ukrain­ian cit­i­zens, two Rus­sians and one Lat­vian.

(From a U.S. Naval Forces Cen­tral Com­mand, 5th Fleet pub­lic affairs news release.)

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)