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U.S. Sailors Provided Assistance To Iran-Flagged Vessel In Distress

A USS Winston S. Churchill team provides food and water to an Iranian-flagged dhow in distress in the Arabian Sea, Oct. 15.

A U.S. guided-missile destroyer came to the aid of an Iranian flagged vessel in distress in the Arabian Sea, an international maritime coalition said on October 16.

The dhow broke down due to a motor problem and launched a distress call to the USS Winston S. Churchill on October 15, according to the Combined Maritime Forces.

"When hailed over bridge-to-bridge radio, the vessel's crew explained that their engine would not start due to a dead battery and they had run out of food and water," the coalition said in a statement.

The USS Churchill established that it was not carrying the type of battery the vessel required, so it sought assistance from Oman's coastguard.

Navy sailors provided the mariners with food and water,and remained in the area until the Omani coast guard arrived.

International maritime convention stipulates that ships must assist any boat in distress, regardless of nationality.

The U.S. cut its diplomatic ties with Iran after the 1979 revolution and the hostage taking of American diplomats in Tehran.

Tensions between the two sides have heightened in past months.

The Combined Maritime Forces is a 33-nation coalition that brings together the US, Turkey, Pakistan and European powers to patrol international waters in the Middle East, home to some of the world's most important shipping lanes.

Based on reporting by AFP and Storyful