Navy, Coast Guard, Air National Guard Coordinate MEDEVAC of Civilian Mariner

Story Number: NNS161117-06Release Date: 11/17/2016 10:08:00 AM
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By Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Litke, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Navy, Coast Guard, and California Air National Guard coordinated to transport a seriously ill civilian mariner from Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) to shore, Nov. 11.

After conferring with the fleet surgeon at Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, the medical service officer aboard Guadalupe determined the patient's care exceeded the medical capabilities of his platform. The ship was approximately 560 miles off the California coast when the Coast Guard requested assistance from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center.

"Due to the distance of the vessel and no local assets in the area, we reached out to the 129th Rescue Wing for assistance," said Lt. Kayla Abruzzese, a Coast Guard 11th District Command Center watchstander.

California Air National Guard 129th Rescue Wing deployed four para-rescuemen from a C-130 Hercules, who were dropped into the water with supplies and transported to the ship by a rigid hull inflatable boat.

After assessing the patient, two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, accompanied by a C-130 for in-flight refueling, were launched from Moffett Federal Airfield to transport the mariner back to shore.

"Through the coordination efforts, we were able to get the person in distress to higher medical care," said Abruzzese.

Capt. Jose A. Acosta, fleet surgeon, said witnessing the coordination between the agencies supporting the safe transfer of the civilian mariner was a testament to the interoperability of our armed forces.

The helicopters returned to Moffett Airfield with the patient, who was then transported by emergency medical services to Stanford Medical Center in Stanford, California, for additional medical care.

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