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US Navy Divers Help Distressed Liveaboard Off Micronesia

US Navy divers recently helped a Micronesian liveaboard vessel that had run aground off the coast of Chuuk, Micronesia, during a storm.

The salvage ship USNS Salvor was in Chuuk’s Weno Harbor conducting salvage training, but got underway in response to distress calls from the SS Thorfinn, a charter vessel that had run aground on a reef in Chuuk Lagoon.

After making sure the Thorfinn’s crew were okay, divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 worked with the Salvor’s civilian mariners to refloat the Thorfinn and get the ship to a safe anchorage.

According to Capt. Robert Williams, commodore of Military Sealift Command Far East:

“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 isn’t the first incident where US Navy divers in Micronesia have put out a helping hand.

In late September 2018, US Navy sailors assigned to Underwater Construction Team (UCT) 2 along with local fishermen helped rescue passengers of an Air Nuigini 737 passenger jet that had crashed in a lagoon just short of the international airport in Micronesia.

SourceUS Navy
John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.