Photos: Navy Sailor Rescued After 20-Foot Fall
On Thursday morning, the San Diego Fire Department rescued a 19-year-old sailor who fell through a flush-deck hatch and twenty feet down into an interior compartment. The accident occurred at the BAE Systems naval yard, and while the vessel was not named, SDFD photos show response vehicles next to the destroyer Paul Hamilton, which is currently in drydock.
The SDFD's heavy rescue team used a vertical lift system to lower down a firefighter to prepare the injured man for lifting. Once the sailor was stabilized, they hoisted him up two deck levels and out of the hatch. Fire department captain Joe Amador told the local affiliate of NBC that the rescue was difficult due to the cramped, tight compartment that the injured man had fallen into, and said that the firefighters had done an impressive job by getting him out of the space in just one hour.
The sailor sustained injuries to the head and the legs and was brought to a hospital for treatment. U.S. Pacific Fleet is launching an investigation into the cause of the accident.