May 20th, 2007 07:02 EST
Ike, Anzio Aid Stranded Vessel
ABOARD USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, At Sea (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and guided-missile cruiser USS Anzio (CG 68) aided the small vessel, Elena, a Hylas 46 Sloop, by supplying them with fuel and fresh fruits and vegetables May 19, approximately 500 miles west of the Azores.
Charles P. Drakos of Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and Rudy Halbart of Huntington, New York, left St. Martin on May 4, bound for the Azores on their first Atlantic crossing.
“We had light winds early on and regular use of the motor consumed some diesel fuel.”
They had a few days of favorable sailing when trouble came.
“We encountered 18.20 knots of head winds and advancing seas,” said Drakos.
With no other option than to use their fuel, they ran out quickly.
“Sea conditions made fuel consumptions higher than normal,” said Drakos.
With options running short, they realized they needed help.
“We were considering our options when suddenly this formidable ship appeared,” said Drakos.
That vessel was Anzio.
While Anzio was first on station, Ike relieved her and deployed an assistance team after lowering her rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) in the water. Ike Sailors aided in giving supplies, including diesel fuel to the stranded vessel.
“They looked nervous as we were pulling up,” said Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Ryan Rector. “They calmed down as soon as we pulled alongside. We gave them supplies, then we exchanged ship’s ball caps.”
“We have been very impressed at the Navy’s efforts to help us out in this situation,” said Drakos.
The Elena and her crew of two will be stopping in Horta next to pick up one more crew member before transiting to Portugal.
Anzio, Ike and their crews continue to maintain readiness in order to provide assistance in the maritime environment and save lives every day as part of their mission of maritime security operations.
“It was a nice ending to an eight-month cruise,” said Rector.
“This is in the finest traditions of the seas that a mighty Navy ship should help a small sailing vessel on the high seas. We thank you for your support,” said Drakos.
Ike and Anzio arrived in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations May 4, following six months of operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, and they are currently transiting the Atlantic Ocean as they are concluding their deployment.
Ike and Anzio are a part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, which also includes embarked Carrier Air Wing 7, embarked Destroyer Squadron 28, guided-missile destroyer USS Ramage (DDG 61), and guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). The strike group deployed Oct. 3 from Norfolk.
By By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Laura Thuman, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Public Affairs