British warship rescues crew of stricken ship in Caribbean

On Friday afternoon, a tugboat crew sent out a distress signal after their vessel began to flood approximately 20 miles west of the island of Sint Maarten.

The crew took refuge on the barge they had been towing and waited for assistance.

HMS Medway was nearby and quickly responded to the Mayday call. After consulting with the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Martinique, the ship altered its course and increased speed, reaching the tug and barge in less than 30 minutes.

Patrol ship HMS Medway rescues the crew of an ocean-going tug which started sinking off Anguilla.

HMS Medway’s crew safely rescued the tugboat crew and took them back to the ship.

This incident marks the first patrol of the year for HMS Medway, which serves as the Royal Navy’s permanent presence in the region.

“The whole ship’s company leapt into action as soon as we made the decision to respond,” said Lieutenant Commander Carla Higgins, Medway’s Executive Officer in temporary command of the 2,000-tonne patrol ship, was quoted as saying.

“The swift thinking and actions of the team were fantastic and we were thankful to be conducting routine maritime security operations in the area to become the on-scene commander working with the local authorities and assist the crew to safety.”

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