The crew of a rigid hull inflatable boat from USS Green Bay (LPD 20) returns to the ship June 19 after recovering Indonesians who were trapped on a raft at sea. (U.S. Navy photo)

MAKASSAR STRAIT - Three people recovered from a sinking boat were transferred safely to Makassar, Indonesia, using a U.S. Navy helicopter, June 20.

Amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) rendered assistance to three distressed mariners in the waters between the Indonesian islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi June 19.

Shipboard lookouts first spotted the distressed mariners waving a black flag approximately 3 to 5 nautical miles from the ship, their boat was surrounded by fuel and debris. Once Green Bay was in proximity to the craft, the ship launched a small boat to provide immediate assistance. Green Bay’s boat crew loaded the men into the boat, and the damaged vessel immediately sank.

Native Indonesian speakers onboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) helped to communicate with the mariners to get their names and where they were from.

While aboard Green Bay, the ship's medical staff conducted a full medical screening. The medical screening determined the mariners were in good health with no signs of dehydration. They were provided food, water and sleeping arrangements until they could be transferred ashore.

While deployed, the amphibious ready group-Marine expeditionary unit team serves as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.

On June 10, amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) also recovered 65 personnel in bamboo rafts while transiting the Makassar Strait.

The USS Green Bay (LPD 20) RHIB crew approaches the raft to provide assistance June 19. (U.S. Navy photo)