HSC-25 rescues distressed cruise ship passenger

Posted on Mar 05 2019

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE—Sailors from the Guam-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 provided emergency assistance to a cruise passenger in distress early Monday, March 4.

At approximately 9:45pm Sunday, March 3, HSC-25 was notified by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam that a passenger aboard MV Arcadia was experiencing a medical emergency. After Arcadia reached within helicopter range of Guam, a rescue mission was launched at 5:45am Monday, by HSC-25 Alert Search and Rescue led by aircraft commander Lt. Richard Schuster. The passenger in distress was recovered via helicopter hoist and returned to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam in stable condition.

“Flying to a cruise ship was a unique and challenging medevac experience,” said Schuster. “We continually practice to prevail when needed most. The Arcadia was very helpful in positioning the ship, allowing Rescue 11’s crew to stabilize the patient on the rescue hoist and get him safely in the aircraft. We were able to expeditiously transport the patient, thanks to our Flight Surgeon Lt. Kumetz and SAR Medical Technician HM2 Bowen.”

The incident was the fifth emergency call to HSC-25 by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam and marks two recoveries during search-and-rescue and medical evacuations in 2019 to date.

“I could not be more proud of our maintenance and flight crews this morning,” said HSC-25 commanding officer Cmdr. Frank Loforti. “Yet again, the Island Knights executed a flawless MEDEVAC [medical evacuation], I’m honored to be part of the winning team.”

HSC-25 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability for units in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search-and-rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron. (Amphibious Force 7th Fleet)

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