A U.S. Navy ship rescued two Iranian mariners Saturday who had been lost in the Gulf of Oman in their small open boat for more than a week.

The dry cargo ship Charles Drew responded at 10 a.m. local time, after the Bahrain-based multinational coalition Combined Maritime Forces received a distress call from the mariners, the Navy said in a statement.

Charles Drew rescued the mariners about six hours later, providing food, water and medical care.

They were taken to an Omani coast guard ship sailing near the capital, Muscat, and both mariners were reportedly “in good health and spirits at the time of the transfer,” the Navy said.

“As professional mariners, we have a responsibility to help people in need at sea,” Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, the head of Combined Maritime Forces, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and U.S. 5th Fleet, said in a statement.

The rescue comes amid continued tensions between Iran and the United States and U.S. allies in the region.

During a visit to Bahrain on Nov. 20, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States would counter Iran’s use of suicide drones in the Mideast and would prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier this month, Gulf Arab navies held a first-ever joint military exercise with Israeli warships in the Red Sea, a move coordinated by the U.S. Navy that followed the signing of the historic Abraham Accords in September 2020, which normalized relations between Israel and several Gulf states, according to the BBC.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at geoffz@militarytimes.com.

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