U.S. Coast Guard and Navy Team Up for Long-Range Medevac
On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy teamed up to medevac a 69-year-old passenger from the cruise ship Grand Princess about 210 miles northwest of Hilo, Hawaii.
A Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from the Kaneohe Bay-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37) conducted the medevac while an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew provided overhead support. They transferred the passenger to Hilo Medical Center for medical treatment.
“The Coast Guard and the Navy often work together during search and rescue operations in the Pacific,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Craig Howarth, a Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstander. “Each case is different and depending on the situation the long range capabilities of the Navy Seahawk aircrews with our Hercules aircrews in support is the quickest means of getting a patient to the higher level of medical care.”
At 1230 hours Wednesday, Sector Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the master of the Grand Princess reporting that a passenger was suffering from abdominal distress. A duty flight surgeon agreed with the ship’s medical staff and recommended a medical evacuation.
Because of the distance of the Grand Princess from shore, Sector Honolulu watchstanders requested the assistance of HSM-37, which agreed to help out with the Seahawk helicopter's long-range capabilities.
The Grand Princess diverted toward the island of Hawaii while the Seahawk and Hercules aircrews launched to rendezvous. Upon arriving on the scene, the Hercules aircrew provided cover overhead and communications while the Seahawk crew successfully conducted the hoist.