U.S. Navy Rescues Cruise Ship Passenger off Guam
On March 4, a U.S. Navy aircrew from the Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 provided a medevac for a passenger from the cruise ship Arcadia.
At about 2145 hours on Sunday, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam contacted HSC 25 to report that a passenger aboard the Arcadia was having a medical emergency. Arcadia was not yet within helicopter range of Guam, but she was getting closer, and HSC 25's "Island Knights" launched a rescue mission at 0545 on Monday.
Rescue 11, an MH-60S helicopter under the command of Lt. Richard Schuster, rendezvoused with the Arcadia and recovered the passenger by hoist. The aircrew brought the rescuee to shore at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam in stable condition.
“Flying to a cruise ship was a unique and challenging medevac,” said Lt. Schuster. “The Arcadia was very helpful in positioning the ship, allowing Rescue 11’s crew to stabilize the patient on the rescue hoist and get him safely in the aircraft. We were able to expeditiously transport the patient thanks to our Flight Surgeon Lt. Kumetz and SAR Medical Technician HM2 Bowen.”
The incident was the fifth emergency call to HSC-25 by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, and it was the second recovery during search-and-rescue and medical evacuations in 2019 to date.
“I could not be more proud of our maintenance and flight crews this morning,” said HSC-25 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Frank Loforti. "Yet again, the Island Knights executed a flawless medevac, I’m honored to be part of the winning team."
HSC-25 maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search-and-rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. It is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron.