An Egyptian minesweeper rescued the crew from a burning ship in the northern Red Sea Monday, a U.S. Navy spokesman in the Persian Gulf said.

The spokesman said the guided missile cruiser USS Biddle also went to help the vessel, which he identified only as the Sea Breeze, after it sent out a distress signal.Thirty of the crew abandoned ship, and the vessel was disabled and drifting into Egyptian territorial waters, the spokesman said. He had no information on casualties.

"The crew abandoned ship, and thirty people were picked up in lifeboats by the Egyptian boat," the navy spokesman said.

"The Biddle and a helicopter it sent to investigate are in the vicinity, but the situation is under control. . . . No extra help appears to be needed."

The spokesman said the rescue was apparently still going on. Bahrain is the command center for dozens of U.S. and other warships patrolling the region to enforce a international trade embargo against Iraq.