U.S. Navy, Yemen Coast Guard Coordinate in First SOLAS Since 2013

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Victoria Kinney, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command | July 28, 2016

GULF OF ADEN (July 28, 2016) - The U.S. Navy and Yemen Coast Guard conducted a coordinated approach and assist to a dhow for the first time in over three years, July 16.

            In a collaborative Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) effort, the Yemen Coast Guard provided assistance to a stranded dhow in the Gulf of Aden by supplying food, water and fuel after receiving a request for support from the U.S. Navy. All members of the boat were reported safe and towed back to safety.

            “The recent SOLAS cooperation was a great venue where Yemen Coast Guard and U.S. Navy presented their commitments towards the safety of seafarers in the Gulf of Aden,” said Capt. Nasser Alkahtani, Yemen senior naval representative.

            The Yemen Coast Guard’s enhanced capabilities in maritime support operations prompted increased cooperation with the U.S. Navy during the International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) 2016. As part of the exercise, the U.S. and Yemen Navy and Coast Guard conducted bilateral visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) training and cross-officer exchanges. 

Yemen Coast Guard enhancements include VBSS and maritime security operations.

“We are so glad to have such opportunities and looking forward to regaining the international community assistance; in particular the US support in order to rebuild Yemen maritime forces capabilities, Coast Guard and Navy, since Yemen is going through a very critical time,” said Alkahatani.

This event marks the first SOLAS collaboration between the Yemen Coast Guard and U.S. Navy since June 2013. The international convention for SOLAS is an international treaty which requires signatory state flag vessels to comply with safety standards in construction, equipment and operations. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command assists an average of 8-12 SOLAS events every year.

            Coalition forces have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress by providing medical assistance, engineering assistance as well as search and rescue.