The frigate intercepted a distress signal from a nearby vessel late in the morning (Representational)
A French Navy Cassard-class anti-aircraft frigate rescued 12 Indians from a sinking ship on Tuesday morning. These 12 Indians were crew members of the ship. The French frigate was part of Task Force (TF) 55 in the Persian Gulf.
According to French government, late in the morning, the frigate, which had just completed escorting the US vessel, Lewis B. Puller, on a patrolling mission and was preparing for replenishment at sea (RAS) with the USS Kanawha, intercepted a distress signal from a nearby vessel, the Durban Queen.
The sender indicated that his ship was sinking. The listing ship was soon spotted at seven nautical miles. Under the operational control of the French Joint Forces Commander in the Indian Ocean (ALINDIEN), the Cassard-class frigate dispatched its aircraft, a Panther from the 36F Flotilla, which had just landed on the helipad after finishing a maritime surveillance sortie.
When the helicopter reached the spot, the vessel, bearing a Saint Kitts and Nevis flag, had capsized minutes ago, forcing its Indian crew to cling to the overturned hull. Moments later, it began sinking. It was at 12:32 hrs that the Panther with two pilots, a diver and a helihoisting operator began lifting the shipwrecked crew.
In the first run, four sailors were transported to the nearest vessel, a merchant ship. In the second and the third runs, four people, including the injured, were brought aboard the Cassard and attended to by its medical team.