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On 3 February, while escorting three Army OH-58 Kiowa helicopters to Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) 100 miles off the coast of Florida, an HS-75 SH-60F Seahawk aircrew learned that one of the helos had developed mechanical problems. Shortly thereafter the stricken Kiowa experienced a tail rotor drive loss, made a complete 180-degree turn, went into autorotation and ditched in the water. The rescue swimmer, performing his first jump since search and rescue school, entered the frigid water and checked over the two injured pilots. While the aircrew maintained position over the victims, the swimmer strapped the first survivor to the hoist. The crew had trouble locating the second pilot so the swimmer was lifted back into the Seahawk while they searched. The other pilot was soon located and lifted to safety.

On 15 March, 495 nautical miles southeast of Guam, a VP-1 P-3C Orion discovered a small skiff that had been reported missing and guided the rescue of its six passengers. The aircrew deployed a search and rescue package containing life rafts and basic survival items and conducted a radar search for nearby vessels to assist the rescue. The crew then established communications with a small motorboat on an island 15 miles away. The motorboat did not have proper equipment for open-sea navigation, but the crew of the Orion was able to direct it with a path of smoke flares dropped into the water every three miles. The motorboat then towed the powerless vessel back to the island, following another trail of flares.

The NAS Fallon, Nev., Search and Rescue (SAR) team launched an HH-1N "Huey" to rescue an injured snowboarder on 31 March. The Mono County, Calif., Sheriff's SAR team was the first on scene. They stabilized, prepped for transfer and provided medical care to the 23-year-old woman who had fallen 800 feet down the side of an icy mountain. When the "Huey" arrived, the crew determined that the helicopter was too heavy, so they flew it back down the mountain and unloaded unnecessary gear and one crew member. Upon return to the mountain, a crewman rappelled to the victim and assessed the situation. It was decided that the victim be carefully moved to a position 300 yards down the mountain where the ground was more level. There, the pilot was able to perform a one-skid landing to recover the woman and helo crew member.

On 23 March the crew of an HS-2 HH-60H Seahawk transported a seriously ill Sailor from Constellation (CV 64) to Hawaii. The patient had been diagnosed with acute onset leukemia while deployed in the Pacific. Due to his condition he was unable to endure a catapult launch, so the Seahawk transported him to Hickam AFB, Oahu.

A dispute between two fishing boat crewmen on 9 March prompted a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue of a gunshot victim. The CGAS Atlantic City, N.J., helo crew took a call from the fishing boat Heather Anne, located 12 miles from Manasquan Inlet, N.J. In a gunfight between the two boats, a crewman on board Heather Anne was shot in the stomach. Authorities said there was a longstanding dispute between the two fishermen. The 82-foot cutter Point Highland, a 42-foot search and rescue utility boat and a New Jersey State Police boat with a Coast Guard boarding team also responded to the call.

On 7 March CGAS Elizabeth City, N.C., received a call from the 640-foot tanker Louros that a 51-year-old crewman had broken his arm in several places. However, it wasn't until 9 March that Louros came within range of the station's HH-60J Jayhawk, which picked up the victim and flew him to a hospital in Elizabeth City.

A CGAS Sitka, Alaska, HH-60J Jayhawk crew rescued an 18-year-old woman suffering from life-threatening respiratory distress while aboard the 63-foot fishing vessel Northern Explorer on 16 March. The crew lowered its swimmer to assist the victim into the rescue basket, and the Jayhawk transported her to a regional health facility.
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Title Annotation:multiple brief articles
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2001
Previous Article:Scan Pattern.
Next Article:Spyplane: The U-2 History Declassified.

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