Futuristic Destroyer Interrupts Sea Trials to Save Fisherman
On Saturday, the new stealth destroyer USS Zumwalt briefly interrupted its sea trials off the coast of Maine to rescue a fisherman in need of medical assistance.
The fisherman was aboard his boat some 40 miles southeast of Portland, ME, and made a distress call at about 0300 hours Saturday complaining of chest pains. The all-electric Zumwalt, capable of at least 30 knots, was in sea trials nearby and was the first responder. The Coast Guard dispatched a SAR helicopter to the scene but its crew determined a hoist rescue to be too dangerous due to the fishing boat's deck layout.
The Zumwalt launched a small boat and brought the fisherman on board, where he was transferred to the helicopter for medivac.
"Our main concern with this type of medical emergency is to recover the patient safely and transport them to a higher level care as quickly as possible,” a USCG spokesman told media. “Fortunately the Zumwalt was operating in the area and was able to provide valuable assistance.”
The rescue came several days after media reports that she had made a surprise call at the port of Portland, Maine's largest city. The Zumwalt is designed to be stealthy, with a radar signature not much larger than that of the fishing vessel she assisted Saturday. Local media report that she appeared out of the fog with no notice and entered Portland's harbor, where she transferred crew and took on supplies.
At 600 feet in length and over $4 billion in construction costs, the Zumwalt is the largest and costliest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy. When her sea trials conclude, Bath Iron Works will make final adjustments, and she is expected to be delivered to her new owners in 2016.