A Vietnamese family who fled the Vietnam war were reunited with the sailors who rescued them in 1971.

Now living in Washington, USA, their story began when Kay Huynh and his family fled Vietnam. Their journey came to a perilous halt when the engine of their boat died and the 40 refugees were stranded in the South China sea for seven days without food or water, ABC13 reported.

American sailor Dale Joliffe spotted their boat from the USS Ingersoll DD-990 and persuaded his captain to turn around and rescue the fleeing Vietnamese. Pete Madlem, the cook of the USS Ingersoll cooked for and fed all 40 refugees.

Madlem found the Huynh family on Facebook around three years ago and they all met up with Joliffe on October 6.

Joliffe was delighted to see the Huynhs and said they are a part of his family now.

Kay, who had long forgotten his real birthday, picked the day his family was rescued as his birthday—October 11, KGW8 reported.

Madlem and Joliffe gave USS Ingersoll hats to the family as a present for Kay’s birthday, saying he’s a “regular crew member” now.