Warship helps injured fisherman in the Gulf

Bells ring out in tribute

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A ROYAL Navy frigate raced to the aid of a badly-injured fisherman in the Gulf of Oman after receiving an urgent distress call from a Korean fishing vessel.

HMS Iron Duke was the closest coalition warship to fishing vessel MV Golden Lake when the call came through that a man on board had been left unconscious with facial injuries after a wire came loose and struck him in the face.

After establishing that the casualty needed urgent medical treatment, the Portsmouth-based frigate rapidly crossed the 170 miles to the vessel. On arrival they dispatched the ship’s doctor, Surgeon Lieutenant Mike Robinson, and an escort of Royal Marines in a rigid inflatable boat with Iron Duke’s Lynx helicopter ‘Charger’ in support.

Once on board Sgn Lt Robinson treated the man’s wounds and stabilised him enough to allow MV Golden Lake time to transport him to the nearest port and on to further medical treatment.

Commander Nick Cooke-Priest, Iron Duke’s commanding officer, said: ‘Assisting those in distress is second nature to seafarers where mutual support is such a key tenet of our environment.

‘I am pleased that Iron Duke was able to help on this occasion and I hope the injured fisherman makes a full recovery.’

The Commander of the Republic of Korea task force, Captain Cho Young Joo – who looks after Korean interests in Oman – thanked Iron Duke for her help.

He said: ‘I would like to convey my sincerest appreciation for all the support you have provided. I fully recognise that the matter could have been exacerbated if an immediate response from Iron Duke was not received.’

HMS Iron Duke is a month into a seven-month deployment of the Arabian Gulf.