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. Rachel

    The majority of the comments on here disgust me. These people are HUMAN BEINGS, not animals. They are hungry, thirsty, and desperate. Food and water are basic human needs and if you've never had a situation where, daily, you didn't have enough but were still expected to take care of your family, you have no idea how you would act or react. And you didn't do anything special to be born here in the U.S. and have enough. Get over your superiority complexes.

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


      How much "aid" have you sent??

      September 29, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Marines123

    I agrre! People are dying here from starvation in this Country, but we continue to move on strong as Americans. Why didn't these selfish grown men think about bringing women or children? Let's stop feeling sorry for those who don't care. Yes I feel bad for them as humans, but we have sailors dying everyday from worse accidents!

    September 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Engineer

    Has anyone ever heard of John Nash's article "Equilibrium Points in N-person Games"? I have no idea what it talks about, but I think it might have some applicable points here...

    September 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. S Man

    Feel good story of the day. I'm tempted to join the Navy so I can get front row seats to watching skinnies inadvertently drown themselves out of their own ignorance of sea-faring.

    September 27, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kiana

    you talk like race isnt the issue when it is...africans are no diffrent than americans they are Human.... europeans brought there asses over here and took ova land that wasnt rightfully theirs mabe native americans should have shot them down and let them drown....these people only want a better lifestyle...for themselves...only ignorant ppl will make ignorant statements like wat everybody is sayin on these comments..would it be diff if europeans were on a boat....please a merica dont be ya eyes we have proverty hunger we got clean water and ppl still smell like wet dog teeth still messed up..yeah we have terrorist too who go out and kill massive people and them selves...military killin wives and how ignorant and stupid is that...yeah i support the OBAMA admin...cause im an african american and i neva been ignorant stupid or a burnt toothpick..... bless the world..cause usa got there tails tuck too far in there understand the real world.. u are rich off them getch mind right america is more stupid and ignorant than any other country

    September 28, 2010 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality


      Let me ask you something. Are competing colonies of ants Evil? No? Then why atribute the same to the natural order of life, only us (humans)? We are in nature too, and must fight to survive. But if you feel the white mans guilt, just kill yourself or give all your "ill gotten" posesions to the minoritys around you. Think they will respect you for it??? Think again, they will only see it as weakness. Your loss. . . .

      September 28, 2010 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. jhI oeyb China will slowly begin to grow and thrive, The US will suffer for years.

    ✓ The Changing World: Tiger vs. Dragon, Part 1 24:57 7/28/2010 China has already established itself as a global economic superpower. India is well on its way. But as each nation tries to showcase its growing status outside its borders, residents inside may not always reap the benefits. The BBC's Mukul
    China will slowly grow. The USA will become a third world country

    September 28, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. tajuana

    oh and all babies can swim at it has to be retaught at sum point...white black or brown. and there sure are alotta black truck drivers to say that they can't operate a manual transmission...u and these other simple minded cavemen are the only ignorant ppl in my opinion

    September 28, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. tajuana

    as far as the abscence of women and children...maybe..just maybe the men left to make a better life so that they could send for their families once stable. dat makes more sense to handle it that way instead of putn thier families in a more dire situation at sea

    September 28, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Marines123

    You all better pray that your children learn how to swim. Africans do not float due to their bone density mass and their genetic layout!

    September 28, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. Marines123

    Ha!Ha! China is another smelly Country that need attention. Wrong answer, they are not superpower, but wishfull thinking on your part. Also, wrong answer with why they did not bring their loved ones. The real answer is that these crispy critters were running from the law in desperation for home crimes! They were ijected from the rebels for crimes against humanity!

    September 28, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marines123

    Now you all know why Africans had to hitch a ride around the world. They can't build a floating craft! So next time anybody complains about ocean transportation for Africans, hey knowbody rides for free. You need to work and don't be lazy tell them.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
    • HarshReality

      Oops, I think you forgot the Kon Tiki experiamnet. (They NEED a spell checker on this site!!. . .) I don't think that they COULDN'T so much as their pre-Neandertal cultures prohibit it via their horrible lack of a "cooperation" skillset. . . .

      September 28, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marines123

    Hey if they want a better lifestyle you can buy them skinny levis and tshirts and they can hang out with you!funtime.

    September 28, 2010 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Deepwater805

    Darwin awards all around....

    September 28, 2010 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. I Know Theyre Here

    rock the boat, dont rock the boat baby. . .

    September 28, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Boscobear

    No good deed goes unpunished–they should have towed them to the Somali ocean border, called the Somali authorities and let them rescue the people.

    September 28, 2010 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
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