US Coast Guard and Navy team for research ship rescue

A 55-year-old crewman from the research vessel Kilo Moana was delivered safely to Honolulu on 8 August following a joint medevac conducted by the US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy 175 miles northeast of Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, the USCG has reported.

“This case illustrates the importance of our partnership with the Navy and the value of hoist-capable helicopters to conduct medevacs so far offshore, allowing us to deliver mariners to a higher level of medical care in the shortest amount of time possible,” said Lt Junior Grade Tim Lae of the USCG Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu.

The USCG Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a request for a medevac from the captain of the Kilo Moana on the evening of 7 August. The 186-ft research vessel, based out of Honolulu, is owned by the Navy and operated by the University of Hawaii Marine Center. The crewman’s foot had reportedly been injured by a falling box of frozen goods, and his condition had declined in the subsequent 24 hours. The vessel was more than 500 miles offshore of Oahu at the time of the request.

Watchstanders from JRCC Honolulu consulted the vessel’s on call doctor at George Washington Medical Facility and the USCG duty flight surgeon, who both recommended the medevac. The captain of the vessel altered course toward Oahu to reduce the distance and it was determined a Seahawk from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 was the safest and quickest means to transport the crewmember to higher medical care.

The MH-60 Seahawk crew departed Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay around 14:15 hrs. The Hercules crew departed Air Station Barbers Point on the west side of Oahu near Kapolei, met up with the Seahawk en route and provided top cover during the hoist and return transit.

The helicopter crew hoisted the injured man onboard and safely delivered him in a stable condition to emergency medical personnel at Kaneohe Bay at 18:17 hrs. He was further transported by ambulance to Queens Medical Center. A USCG HC-130 Hercules plane flew cover and provided additional communications for the Seahawk crew.

HSM-37 is the largest expeditionary squadron in the Navy and the Easyriders support all Pearl Harbor-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers with 15 Seahawks. While anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare are their primary missions, secondary missions include search and rescue and medical evacuations.

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