By Lt. j.g. Jessica Bloodsworth
USS HuÃ© City (CG 66) Public Affairs
Guided-missile cruiser USS HuÃ© City (CG 66), part of the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, responded to a distress call from U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Jacksonville, Florida, involving a 26-foot fishing vessel located 43 nautical miles off the coast of Mayport, Sept. 23.
The USCG reported over bridge-to-bridge communications an indication of personnel in the water from a personal indication device, as well as an urgency distress call, and requested assistance from any vessel in the area.
HuÃ© City, approximately 13 nautical miles from the specified location of the vessel at the time of the call, immediately responded to the USCG and initiated protocol and preparations to launch a helicopter to search for the reported personnel in the water while she altered course in direction of the last known location.
HuÃ© City arrived on station before launching the helicopter and launched a rigid-hull inflatable boat upon visual sighting, verification, and communication with the vessel that was reported as needing assistance.
The vessel was dead in the water with four passengers aboard. Assessment by HuÃ© City's boat crew concluded the fishing vessel's engine failure required assistance.
A member of HuÃ© City's boat crew was Chief Machinist Mate Joseph Haselberger, an avid fisherman.
"I was just doing my job and helping a fellow mariner and fisherman. I hope the favor will be returned one day," said Haselberger.
The fishing vessel was able to be repaired and the fishermen, after shaking Haselberger's hand and expressing their gratitude, proceeded on their 43 nautical mile journey back to Mayport.
Commanding Officer Capt. Dan Gillen commended the response efforts of his crew.
"I am glad we were available to assist these fishermen. Without HuÃ© City, they could have gotten into a real bad situation," said Gillen.
HuÃ© City is conducting routine training and operations in preparation for an upcoming deployment with the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.