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)


    September 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jeremy

    population control. send all the idiots on a skiff. too much compassion for lesser beings.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    Question – How many people have to get on that rickety skiff before someone says this might not be such a good idea? Things have really got to stink where you are from to make that seem like a better option.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    Why is it that even the most oppressed, starved, thirsty, desperate people can find the energy to procreate? If you pour resources into an environment that can not support the population you end up with a larger population that demands even more resources. Where does this cycle end?

    September 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ihaterepublicans

      Phil – if you want an answer to that – ask your mother!

      September 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Darwin

    I believe this is known as natural selection. You should check out my book "On the Origin of Species"; it was a best seller in the 1800s.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DarwinsRight

    Take them all to Jesse' and Al's homes. See wut the 'gud revrends' want to do.......damn white folks mind your own business they would still be enjoyin their boating my book or watch 'Forrest Gump'.....this was predicted in both.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. worksforme

    What a horrible chain of events. I don't believe some of the posts written here. Geeze...

    September 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      me neither.

      September 27, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • hey!

      I do. Pathetic is the new norm.

      September 28, 2010 at 3:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. LoveDoctor

    Happened to the CG a couple of times interdicting Haitians heading for Florida. Overloaded boat, if you could call it that, ship pulls alongside and everyone aboard the grossly overladen vessel clamors for the ship. The vessel does not recover from the tipping moment created and sploosh! People in the water. What started as an attempt at aid ends up being a rescue and recovery of drowning victims.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. DarwinsRight

    by the way ....Katrina hit Somalia, USA. Same intelligence both places. I think Somalia has better quality people and higher intelligence. They at least try to fend for themselves , New Orleans just waited and expected everyone else to do the work. In Somalia, USA people watched ocean liners pass by at higher elevations than their houses for years and didnt have sense enough to see what was bound to happen. Then when it did, it was someone elses fault. Somalia will survive though because its not a 'welfare state'. Louisiana will always be, and as you see, but most wont admit... they can not survive.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LoveDoctor

    Happened more than once to the CG while interdicting Haitians who were attempting to float to Miami. Grossly overladen vessel, ship pulls alongside to assist, people aboard the smaller vessel clamor to one side - sploosh! People in the water. What was an attempt to assist just became a rescue and recovery of persons in the water.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. shooter418

    They were probably just a bunch of people trying to escape there war torn impovershed country. Starvation is not a pretty site. We are blessed not to have those problems here(yet). God bless those poor souls.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CS

    I don't know the details–but why wouldn't the South Korean ship help, and instead have to ask the US ship (strangely named after a Brit–the USS WINSTON CHURCHILL?? HUH????).

    September 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Southi5

      Why is that strange? The US and British have been allies for years, it is a respectful gesture.

      September 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • DarwinsRight

      why do you think they wouldnt help, some realize its dangerous, others realize your gonna get blamed. You can be sure they were laughing their asses off when US ships responded. When people make themselves victims...its best to stay clear.

      September 27, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Southi5

    Sure are a lot of people bashing Americans on here, maybe you all missed that the US NAVY was trying to bring aid to these the way US stands for United States, why is there no mention of whatever country you are from and all the aid your country is trying to deliver? I know, because no one else is!

    September 27, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. warrior

    some people are so dam stupid they deserve to drown.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ihaterepublicans

      warrior – you should have been on that skiff – would have been a nice to be rid of ur sorry a$$

      September 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michelle

    If i didn't have enough water to drink i wouldn't bathe much eithre.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
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