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A UH-3H Sea King helicopter from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, Hawaii, airlifted two injured men from the cruise ship Pride Aloha five miles off the Kauai coast on 20 July. After receiving a request for assistance from the Coast Guard, the helicopter hovered over the ship while AT3 Christopher Szabo was lowered onto the deck and prepared the survivors for hoisting. AT2 Damon Boggs operated the hoist and secured the victims on board the helicopter. The men were flown to Lihue Airport, where an ambulance transported them to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

The crew of John F. Kennedy (CV 67) rescued six crew members of an Iranian cargo dhow on 14 August, after learning that the vessel was taking on water. An SH-60F and HH-60H of HS-15 were dispatched to the scene, while a P-3C Orion of VP-9 monitored the dhow and coordinated helicopter rescue operations. All of the victims were rescued and later treated by Kennedy's medical staff.

A helicopter crew from CGAS New Orleans, La., rescued the captain of a 96-foot shrimp vessel, Alexander G, 150 miles southwest of New Orleans. The air station was notified that the boat captain had caught his hand in the vessel's winch, resulting in a severe injury. Once on the scene, the helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to assess the situation. The victim was then hoisted aboard the HH-65 Dolphin and transported to Lakewood Hospital in Morgan City, La.

The Combined Air Operations Center's (CAOC) Combat Operation Cell, partially comprised of Nimitz (CVN 68) strike group personnel, assisted an injured U.S. Coast Guardsman attached to Rush (WHEC 723), who was suffering a life-threatening medical injury. The CAOC directed a helo crew from the Chilean ship Lynch to conduct a helo transfer, but the crew's efforts were unsuccessful. Rush then transported the victim to the Canadian destroyer HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283) using a rigid-hull inflatable boat. Once on board, Algonquin's helicopter transferred the patient to Tarawa (LHA 1) whose helo delivered him to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., Search and Rescue (SAR) team received a call for search and rescue support to pick up an injured climber atop Coleman Glacier, just below the northern summit of Mount Baker. The SAR crew and two Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council (BMRC) members were alerted to prepare for the mission. An SH-3 Sea King flew over the peak of Mount Baker, where the crew quickly located the injured climber. After observing multiple avalanches in the area, they elected to drop BMRC climbers 1,000 feet below the climber. A SAR crew member conducted pre-hoist checks from the ground and radioed the helicopter when ready for pickup. The injured hiker was recovered, and the SAR crew stabilized the climber for the 20-minute transfer to Saint Joseph's Hospital in Bellingham, Wash.

Edited by Josn Brandy Lewis
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Author:Lewis, Josn Brandy
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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