USS Rhode Island Performs Rescue at SeaStory Number: NNS090817-15Release Date: 8/17/2009 5:01:00 PM
By Commander Submarine Group 10 Public Affairs
KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- The crew of USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) (Gold) rescued five people from a capsized boat Aug. 11.At approximately 9 a.m., while transiting on the surface in the Atlantic Ocean, Lt. j.g. Brad Holbrook, the periscope operator on board Rhode Island, observed what seemed to be a distressed vessel.Cmdr. Kevin Mooney, commanding officer of Rhode Island (Gold), ordered the submarine to turn around to investigate the sighting.As the distance between the craft and submarine decreased, it became apparent that four men and a 14-year-old boy, were sitting atop the capsized fishing vessel. The five rescued boaters, who were from the Bahamas, were brought topside of Rhode Island and provided assistance until another vessel arrived to take the men ashore.One of the men reported being adrift for four days at sea, and all were very grateful when they saw the submarine was turning around to rescue them.The submarine's corpsman, Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (SS) John "J.T." Renn, treated the five men for dehydration. One man sustained a significant wound on his right leg, and Renn prepared it for further medical treatment ashore."There is only one choice when it comes to rendering assistance to vessels in distress," said Mooney. "I am glad that we were in the right place at the right time to help out these fellow mariners. I couldn't be more proud of the professionalism and performance displayed by my crew."The rescued men joked with the submarine crew that no one would believe their story. As proof, Mooney gave each of the men a USS Rhode Island command coin as a memento of their rescue.