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Rescues. (People Planes Places).

On 24 February a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules from San Juan, P.R., investigated an emergency radio beacon signal and spotted an inflatable dingy and life raft lashed together with four people on board. The aircrew dropped a radio to the survivors and learned that their 53-foot sailboat had struck something in the water the night before and sank within minutes. Since their location was 130 miles from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, they were out of range of the Coast Guard's HH-65 Dolphin helicopters. The Coast Guard contacted VC-8 at NS Roosevelt Roads, P.R., which put together a crew for its UH-3H Sea King. The helo arrived on scene following a 1.5-hour transit and deployed a rescue swimmer, who determined that there were no serious injuries among the survivors. After 45 minutes of fighting large swells, the swimmer was able to hoist all of the victims aboard the helo and they were taken to the Roosevelt Roads naval hospital for treatment.

Coast Guard cutter Harriet Lane rescued 71 Haitian migrants from a capsized vessel six miles west of Great Inagua, Bahamas, on 10 May. Two Bahamian vessels assisted two HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and an HU-25 Falcon jet from CGAS Miami, Fla., in the rescue.

On 15 April a CGAS Elizabeth City, N.C., HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescued a father and son after their boat ran aground near the mouth of the York River. The two were picked up from their vessel and transported to Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Va., in good condition.

NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., Search and Rescue personnel and their UH-3H Sea King accomplished two challenging rescues, one from the edge of a cliff, the other from the 9,500-foot mark of Mount Baker. The first incident started with a call to aid a critically injured hiker who had fallen 100 feet from a cliff. Because of rough terrain, the victim could be rescued only by helicopter. With sunlight fading, the H-3 hovered close to the treetops while hoisting a corpsman to an adjoining cliff. The corpsman then traversed the edge to the hiker, confirmed the hiker's condition as critical, placed him on a litter and returned to the pickup point. The hiker, suffering from a broken pelvis, internal bleeding and organ damage was safely flown to a Seattle, Wash., trauma center.

The second incident involved a climber who suffered a 400-foot fall and was unconscious. When the helicopter arrived the crew found it lacked power to hover at high altitude. To reduce weight the crew dropped off extra personnel and cargo at a nearby ski area and dumped some fuel. Then, while balancing on a 60-degree slope, two corpsmen were lowered to place the injured climber on a litter. After 20 minutes, they were all hoisted aboard the helicopter, and the victim was taken to a hospital in Bellingham, Wash.

Military forces in Hawaii combined to rescue an injured merchant mariner aboard the vessel Pequen nearly 700 miles west of Oahu, Hawaii. The rescuers included Lake Erie (CG 70) and O'Kane (DDG 77); two MCB Kaneohe Bay-based HSL-37 SH-60B Seahawks; two Army doctors from Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu; and a CGAS Barber's Point C-130 Hercules. The Seahawks delivered a neurosurgeon and an anesthesiologist to Lake Erie, while the C-130 flew overhead providing communications and coordination support. Diagnosed with a serious head injury, the victim was stabilized and then transported to Tripler Medical Center.
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Title Annotation:Coast Guard
Author:Ball, Joe Dan
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2002
Previous Article:Records and anniversaries. (People Planes Places).
Next Article:Navy investigates firefighting training options. (People Planes Places).

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