September 27th, 2010
01:33 PM ET

13 drown, 8 missing after skiff getting Navy aid capsizes

A U.S. Navy boat works to rescue passengers from a capsized skiff in the Gulf of Aden.

Thirteen people drowned and eight are missing after a small skiff packed with more than seven dozen people capsized while getting aid from a U.S. Navy vessel in the Gulf of Aden, the U.S. military said Monday.

The skiff, packed with 75 Ethiopians and 10 Somalis, was spotted adrift in the gulf by a South Korean warship, which asked the guided missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill to provide assistance, according to a statement from the Combined Maritime Forces, which conducts anti-piracy patrols off the east coast of Africa.

The 9,500-ton, 513-foot long Churchill sent an inflatable boat to the aid of the skiff. After determining the skiff was without power, the inflatable towed it out of shipping lanes toward the Somali coast, the statement said.

At about 8:30 am local time Monday, U.S. sailors attempted to distribute fresh supplies to those aboard the skiff. As they did so, the Africans rushed to one side of the vessel, capsizing it, and sending all 85 passengers into the ocean.

Crews from the Churchill and an Australian patrol aircraft were able to rescue 61 of the skiff’s passengers. Thirteen drowned and eight were not found, the statement said.

The Navy was investigating the incident.

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Filed under: Africa • U.S. Navy
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. Imunchbush

    I heard Somalis have some good bush.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gary

    Help them out, yes, while keeping them out of our country. My generosity only goes so far.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    Learn to swim

    September 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nupe

    Come on my fellow Americans, have we as a country come to this (finding humor in the death of others)?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Sadly, yes. A significant number of Americans find a lot of delight in the pain of others.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LibshateUSA

    It's not just desperation. Its greed and wanting everything for yourself. Too much of a hurry to get thiers, to hell with everyone else.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • andicall

      it is purely desperation and they had nothing therefore can't be greedy. This world problem is not two dimensional only. your arrogance is shinning.

      September 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ihaterepublicans

      Rav – maybe it was your sorry a$$ that stunk!

      September 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Janet

    Most Americans have never experienced, or even witnessed, extreme desperation. When the choice is to stay in one's current country or board an overcrowded, ill-equipped, poorly-designed boat, and the BEST choice is the boat, that says volumes about what these people are trying to leave. I've seen poor parts of America. I've also seen the poverty in Honduras and the EXTREME poverty in India. I have no doubt that the places these desperate people came from are comparable to what I've seen outside of America. And to top it off, we are becoming a nation of "touch s#!t" types.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality

      Maybe that's because they riot to take our aid, then kill the aid givers, then cry that they need more aid, hmmm??

      September 28, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • hey!

      or maybe it's because of people like you – it's not like there's not enough food to feed the world's starving –

      September 28, 2010 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality

      @ HEY!:

      1) Yes there is enough food in the world. It sits in warehouses rotting, for lack of "a good price". Greed causes more starvation deaths than any other cause in this idiots world.
      2) People like me aren't afraid to say that the emporer has no clothes. I'm not PC, I'm sorry that's a problem for you.
      3) Try to see beond personal attacks, calling people racist, wishing they were aborted, etc., because you don't agree with them, You should use logic, not emotion, when debating!. I did not and do not advocate for their deaths or anything of the sort like some of the other posters here. I also don't call them on it, as they have a right to their opinions, even if I don't agree with them. But I do see idiocy in action and I call 'em as I see 'em.

      September 28, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jake

    What defies explanation is white Christian aid groups doing their best to flood their own countries with these "people."

    Perversely, they seem to target really white areas like the upper Midwest for their horrendously destructive feel-good projects.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality

      I believe that will cease in the next 5 – 10 years, when the local populace has had enough of the crime associated with the "immigrant" population (illegals is who I'm refering to here). The US has a self destructive need to be politicly correct, to it's own demise. (but hey, at least we were nice before we ceased to exist as a culture!!! Makes me want to hurl.)

      September 28, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • hey!

      what defies explanation is that abortion is legal but your still here

      September 28, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Marines123

    I've seen desperation in iraq. An old lady running after a little girl who was given a doll toy. Also, iraqis tearing apart the UN building for supplys. Also, children tearing apart a 7-ton troop transport that was disabled. Yes! They took all four tires.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. crow majick

    Its a shame there is so much poverty in our world..it should make us all say our prayers that we live in our wonderful country...usa

    September 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I don't know about you, but I didn't get what I have by praying for it, and I don't intend to give it to others simply because they are praying for it!

      September 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      Jim ... I agree with you 100 percent. I have what I have because I worked hard for it and I'll be darned if I will just give it away. PRAY?? ... give me a break.

      September 27, 2010 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      So you both "worked hard" to be born in a first-world country with plenty of opportunities?

      September 27, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • hey!

      you don't have to give it away, it comes right out of your check –

      September 28, 2010 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality

      @Rachel:

      We were born here, and we use the systems in place to enrich our lives and those of our familys, and that makes us some kind of Evil???
      Let me ask you, do you hate Beavers? No? Then why do you hate Americans? Think about why I ask this before you go off on me for asking such a seemingly obtuse question like that. Some of you know exactly why I ask this question. Should we tell her?

      September 28, 2010 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stephanie

    go ahead and laugh at the death of others... make sure they send me an invite when you go, so that I can enjoy a chuckle or two. idiot!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Stephanie

    btw...don't judge others scent until you smell yourself 😛

    September 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sailor jerry

    GO NAVY BEAT ARMY!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southi5

      BOOOO! ARMY STRONG! 🙂

      September 27, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marines123

    Hey to all of you who want to come to America via Ocean. You are not Christopher Columbus. You are not welcomed here, because we are now in War mode. We will help you in the ocean as we did the Vietnamese, but if you don't know how to swim stay put. Please don't try to fly and again blow up our beutifull country. Our borders need to be secured. Let's not let desperation interfere with our mission. We are also in desperation for survival. These people are criminals that will backstab us! My ship also resqued a sinking vessel with 6 Iranians off the Gulf coast 15 years ago.A few had bibles as they bobbled in the ocean almost drowning! Go Navy!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • saddlyU

      Hey to all of you who want to come to America via Ocean. You are not Christopher Columbus. You are not welcomed here, because we are now in War mode. We will help you in the ocean as we did the Vietnamese, but if you don't know how to swim stay put. Please don't try to fly and again blow up our beutifull country. Our borders need to be secured. Let's not let desperation interfere with our mission. We are also in desperation for survival. These people are criminals that will backstab us! My ship also resqued a sinking vessel with 6 Iranians off the Gulf coast 15 years ago.A few had bibles as they bobbled in the ocean almost drowning! Go Navy!

      I don't think they were planning to make it all the way here from Gulf of Eden. And i don't see any Saudi's on that boat for you to worry of another 9/11 attack. and not all desperately poor people are criminals. Criminals come in all kinds of class and race.

      September 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • saddlyU

      I don't think they were planning to make it all the way here from Gulf of Eden. And i don't see any Saudi's on that boat for you to worry of another 9/11 attack. and not all desperately poor people are criminals. Criminals come in all kinds of class and race.

      September 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe Shmoe

    There are two things black people can not do; swim or drive a manual transmission vehicle. Thank you and God bless.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. eva

    The comments given about this sad situation makes it even sadder. Those people are people -its not about race. The fact that they were in need of help is the bottom line. Seems like we give food/water/shelter to killers in prison & its humane but in this situation seeking a better life in America illegally is their crime- they shouldn't be helped with aide of food & water?!! I've seen people act really crazzzzy when they skip even 1 meal, imagine those on the skiff! Can't imagine? Skip a meal see for yourself!

    September 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meggan

      I want to say thank you for having some sense and compassion. I am in the Navy and just returned from deployment. While deployed my ship also came upon one of these skiffs. We were fortunate that nothing horrible like this happened while we were providing food and water to these starving people. No, They were not pirates, just people who risked their lives trying to get to a better life. I am glad someone else on here feels the same as I do. Thank you.

      September 27, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      Thank you for this post, you said it much better than I did.

      September 27, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frightened by the ignorance

      Meggan, Firstly, Thank you very much for your service to our country. My little brother is on the USS Winston S. Churchill and on Tuesday we received an email from him to let us know he was ok. Here is a little of what he wrote... " Within seconds, the skiff was gone and people were thrashing in the water everywhere. Immediately, every available person onboard came topside with the rest of my team to help. I cant really get into any more detail but needless to say it has been a very sad and trying last couple of days. We now have the survivors onboard and we are rotating out in our time topside giving them food, water, blankets, etc as well as providing security."
      My brother is part of a team which boards suspected pirate ships and they were fully aware that these people were NOT pirates, they were clearly in need of help. I am proud to be an American especially when I know that my military will stop to help people in need.

      September 29, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
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