INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — While on a Memorial Day recreational trip to Kizkalesi Beach, Turkey, four sailors temporarily stationed at Incirlik aided in the rescue of a Turkish family-of-six after their small boat capsized May 29.
Navy Chief Petty Officer Luigi Giugliano, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan McCammond, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Hasby and Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence Siu, were boating themselves when they heard screaming in the distance and saw commotion in the water.
"All it sounded like was a bunch of kids joking around; we didn't think much of it," Hasby said. "Then after a few seconds, we noticed it was real desperate screaming."
They immediately started to paddle their boats toward the incident and noticed a capsized boat with people clinging to its side. They saw the family trying to climb atop the boat's underside, only to have their weight flip the boat repeatedly.
As the sailors got closer to the scene, Giugliano and McCammond jumped from their boat and swam to the family.
"Everyone was panicking," Giugliano said. "The people were trying to keep their head above water and were holding on to the side of the boat. They had no life vests and couldn't swim."
Siu and Hasby arrived at the scene and joined the others helping people out of the water including a six-year-old boy.
"The boy was cold and scared, but he was responsive and was alright," Siu said.
The sailors had to deal with many obstacles while helping the family including keeping the people's heads above water, preventing surrounding boats from crushing them, the noise and confusion of the scene and keeping the people calm which proved difficult because of the language barrier.
After about 20 minutes of chaos, the sailors and other rescuers pulled the grateful family members from the water unharmed.
"Anyone in our situation would have helped them," Giugliano said. "I think being in the military helped us be prepared for this situation. It happened so fast and without notice. As [servicemembers] we should never be afraid to act. I call it doing the right thing at the right time."
McCammond said their acts not only helped the family, but helped their team camaraderie as well.
"It definitely brought us closer together as a group," he said. "It was a crazy experience; one that I'll never forget."