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Sailors evacuate Chinese mariner in medical crisis near Guam

Members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 wait inside an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter prior to a search-and-rescue exercise off the coast of Guam, Feb. 23, 2018. (U.S. Air Force)

A Chinese commercial mariner is in stable condition thanks to the efforts of a group of U.S. sailors near Guam.

At about 12:35 p.m. Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard alerted sailors assigned to the Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 to a Chinese mariner suffering “life-threatening” symptoms aboard the Belgian cargo ship Wangaratta, a Navy statement said.

HSC-25 crewmembers, including aircraft commander Lt. Samantha Telles-Goins, headed for the ship about 120 miles west of Guam. They then brought the distressed mariner aboard for an airlift evacuation.

“This was my first lifesaving Medical Evacuation as a member of HSC-25,” Telles-Goins said in the statement. “Seeing all of my training pay off successfully was a very rewarding experience.”

The sailors took the mariner to Naval Hospital Guam, and he was later transferred to Guam Memorial Hospital for treatment, according to the Navy statement.

Saving lives “is a great source of pride” for members of the sea combat squadron, Cmdr. Will Eastham, HSC-25 commanding officer, said in the statement.

The Navy said Sunday’s incident marked the 21st time the sea combat squadron has responded to an emergency call from the Coast Guard assigned to Guam. It was also the seventh time the squadron recovered a survivor during search-and-rescue or medical evacuations this year, the statement said.

This was the second time this week that the Navy made headlines for rescue efforts. On July 11, a Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft was used to find a fishing boat lost in the Indian Ocean after the Sri Lankan navy asked for help. Six fishermen were rescued from the missing boat as a result of sailors’ efforts.


© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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