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The amphibious transport dock San Antonio responded to a distress call in the central Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, rescuing 128 men from a raft trapped in dangerous conditions, according to a news release from 6th Fleet.
A Maltese patrol aircraft spotted the raft rocking from wind and high seas near the island nation of Malta, off of Italy’s southern coast, on Wednesday afternoon. The country’s government called for emergency support from several ships in the area, as well as the Naples, Italy-based 6th Fleet.
By Thursday afternoon, all of the men had been transferred from the amphib to a Maltese patrol vessel, according to an updated 6th Fleet release that included photos of the rescue.
San Antonio was about 60 nautical miles away at the time. The ship was ordered to respond, arriving on scene at 6 p.m. local time and transferring the men from the raft using two 11-man rigid-hull inflatable boats.
The men received food, water and medical care aboard the amphib, according to the Wednesday release.