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US Navy divers assist stricken liveaboard in Chuuk Lagoon

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US Navy divers recently stepped in to assist the liveaboard SS Thorfinn, which had run aground in the famous Chuuk Lagoon during a fierce storm.

The salvage ship USNS Salvor was in Chuuk’s Weno Harbor conducting salvage training, but headed out in response to distress calls from the SS Thorfinn, which had run aground on a reef in the lagoon.

After ensuring everyone on board the Thorfinn was safe, divers from the Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit-1 (MDSU-1) worked with the Salvor’s civilian mariners to refloat the stricken Thorfinn and get the charter boat to a safe anchorage.

Captain Robert Williams, commodore of Military Sealift Command Far East, commented: “It was a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together as a team. Our civilian mariners and Navy divers were ready to respond when needed, and worked seamlessly together to safely and professionally execute the rescue.”

Navy Diver 1st Class Derek Luedtke, leading petty officer of MDSU-1, said: “This is what we’re here for. It’s an opportunity for us to use our training, but I think I can speak for the team when I say we were happy to be able to help people in need.”

This is not the first time that the US Navy stationed in Micronesia have offered assistance. Back in September 2018, as reported by Scuba Diver, US Navy sailors from the Underwater Construction Team-2 (UCT-2) joined local fishermen to rescue passengers from an Air Nuigini 737 passenger jet that crashed in a lagoon just short of the international airport in Micronesia.

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Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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