USS SAN JACINTO, Arabian Sea (NNS) -- The Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser, USS San Jacinto (CG 56) rescued five Yemeni mariners from suspected pirates May 26, while conducting routine counter narcotics operations, 68 miles southeast of Ras Fartak, Yemen.
San Jacinto dispatched a boarding team, in two rigid hull inflatable boats, to perform an approach and assist visit on the Yemeni dhow, Al Jawat, and conduct a routine inspection.
When all of the personnel were mustered on the bow of the dhow, the team discovered one person hiding under a blanket and a hidden cache of four AK-47 assault rifles and four rocket-propelled grenades during a search of the ship.
Upon conversation with the master of the vessel, the team learned 13 suspected pirates were on board, attempting to blend in as part of the crew. The master identified the suspected pirates and the team detained them on the dhow without conflict. The crew and suspected pirates remained on the dhow as Yemeni authorities were contacted.
The Yemeni Navy dispatched a patrol boat from Al Mukalla, Yemen, to take custody of the suspected pirates and spoke with the crew members to investigate the incident. The master stated his dhow had been under pirate control for one day only.
San Jacinto was on a routine counter narcotics patrol in the Arabian Sea, conducting a maritime inspection in international waters when the pirates were discovered.
U.S. forces conduct Maritime Security Operations to help set the conditions for security in the maritime environment.