USS ESSEX, At Sea (NNS) -- HMS Marlborough (F 233) rescued an injured crew member from an Iraqi-flagged dhow Dec. 20, while conducting routine operations in the North Persian Gulf near the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal.
After USS Typhoon (PC 5) received a distress call from the dhow and radioed Marlborough, the crew dispatched a medical officer and boarding team via small-boat to provide assistance.
One of the dhow's 10 crew members had been struck on the head by a winch handle while hauling in fishing nets and was knocked overboard, according to the dhow's master. The injured crew member was unconscious when recovered by the dhow.
Medical examination by Marlborough's doctor determined the crew member's injury required immediate medical evacuation.
"When I reached the dhow, I found the injured crew member on the deck. He apparently had been hit in the head," said Marlborough's Surgeon Lt. Simon Jaques.
The injured crew member was transported by small-boat back to Marlborough and medically evacuated to USS Essex (LHD 2) for further treatment.
Although Essex serves primarily as an amphibious assault ship, one of the ship's secondary missions is to provide high-level hospital care. It is equipped with 15 intensive care unit beds and has 36 additional beds in its ward. Essex is fully equipped and staffed to handle major medical emergencies.
Typhoon and Marlborough are part of Task Force 50, currently operating in the Persian Gulf with other coalition forces in support of the sovereign government of Iraq.
The patient remains in critical condition, awaiting transfer to a medical facility ashore.
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