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. RG

    Very sad, I am sure the American Navy personnel did everything they could to rescue the people on the skiff.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |


    September 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Christian

    If you are a U.S. citizen then you should be allowed some arrogance. Most of us cannot reLate to their desperation for food and water because we are a successful nation. If they can't educate themselves. That's their problem. Too bad faith isn't filling. cuz then religion would have a point. Haha

    September 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Adam Kwoka

    Yea. People are that hungry in parts of the world. 15% of America is in Poverty. Yet we are giving Israel Billions of dollars a year. Spending trillions on war that has no purpose. Fighting "terrorism", while Israel and America are the real terrorists.... and we comment on this like it's just another stupid story... meanwhile what is the real reason why there are problems in the world??

    September 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Realist

    Anyone of you would have done the same thing. Yes its sad and its pathetic; we are humans, and to think we'd be intelligent enough to avoid such a tragedy through organization, etc.. BUT WERE NOT. Take away our food, water, our homes, and the benefits of our education, and we're all just like them. So all of you calling these people stupid, and saying how they could have avoided this disaster, if you were in their shoes, if you had grown up just as them, and you had been on that boat, chances are you'd be floating dead in the water.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Makes me wonder how all the people in Congress would have fared if they were jobless, homeless, starving, and were all crammed onto 1 boat in the same exact situation. Lol ... Funny kinda funny to think about ...

      September 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe Blow

    I don't feel sorry for a boatload of morons who can't exercise basic human civility and patience. Sink it.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • hey!

      lemme guess – you are a bigoted, racist american. so predictable.

      September 28, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. Meggan

    Those are my fellow sailors out there who were trying to help. Some of those involved are even some of my close friends. I am sure they feel horrible about what happened while they were trying to provide aid to those in need. I think all of those on here who think that these people got what they deserve need to stop and feel grateful that they have never had to be in a situation like that. I hope one day they will experience how it feels to be lost and starving. These were innocent lives that were lost. Have some heart people.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Marines123

    Someone said. American are terrorist. Another spupid remark! You should of been in that skiff with your stupid brothers. Americans are fighters who ptotect our resources and don't purposefully kill ourselves while fighting war! Stupid ignorant people in skiff should of realized boat was too full, pluss we don't know how to swim. Hey what kind of person believes he will get 100 virgins if he blows himself up? A terrorist believes this not an. American. We believe the opposite. If we die we will be unable to concieve.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. johnharry

    Honor the dead, there is no one to weep for them.

    Plank owner USS Winston S Churchill

    September 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Halo

      What? Why don't you blame Bush while you're at it?

      September 28, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  10. chicagoK

    Someone needs to ask if the slaves shipped to the US back in 19th century have the same DNA. Africa is not living in the 7th century because someone suppressed them! Something is wrong there.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JJq

    Everybody should have just ignored them. Now they'll probably sue the US Navy for $50 million...and win.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. victor

    Not the first or last time it happens. Dropping boxes of food from aircaft its getting a little better, at least drop zones are set. But at sea like that it sure makes it harder. I don't have to go too far to see this. Poverty is everywhere. This world is not the dream world we all want.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Marines123

    I agree. Emotions can kill you! That's why we should of waited and let them come to us! Only the strong swimmers would of survived! We could of used them as Navy cooks on the ship? No not crispy critters.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cubes

    What the hell is the matter with you lot?

    I'm truly shocked at the "lol africans are dumb" consensus here.

    If you are ever in raft with 84 other starving people, you would probably act just as rashly, think about it.

    Sure, we bail africa out maybe more than we should but don't be so arrogant as to think you would handle the socio-economic climate there better than anyone else born into it.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Marines123

    We have enough problems with African Americans in this country. Why continue to help when we are not appreciated? Look at our prisons. Look at our education system sadly African Americans account for less than 25 percent student body. These boat people won't sue, but will lie and say we hurt them in the ocean! Let's stop helping those who don't help themselves!

    September 27, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
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