Coast Guard and Navy rescue crews assist on three back-to-back search and rescue cases in the Pacific

An MH-60S Knighthawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five (HSC-25) "Island Knights" lifts off. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman James R. Evans (RELEASED)

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman James R. Evans

Apra Harbor, GUAM — U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, Guam Fire Rescue, and Navy aircraft crews hoisted two mariners from their vessel taking on water, hoisted nine hikers and their dog from Sigua Falls, and found an overdue vessel and towed it to Merizo Pier Sunday during three unrelated cases.

Coast Guard Sector Guam Command Center personnel were contacted Sunday at 12 a.m. to search for an overdue 22-foot skiff with two persons aboard. Coast Guard Cutter Washington and a crew from Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 were dispatched to search for the skiff. The skiff had departed from Agat Marina on Friday and was expected to return by 6 p.m. that same day. The skiff was reported as not having a VHF radio aboard, only a cellular phone, but they were out of range of cellular towers.

The two were rescued as the disabled skiff was taking on water about 20 miles west of Orote Point, more than nine hours after their expected return to shore.

Just before 6 p.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Sector Guam rescue coordinators were contacted by Guam Fire Rescue Dispatch to assist in the rescue of nine missing hikers and their dog in the area of Sigua Falls.

Guam Fire Rescue was able to instruct the hikers on how to access GPS tracking on their cell phone, which aided the helicopter crew in locating the hikers at their position. Navy search and rescue responders on scene determined that the terrain would be too difficult for the hikers to get out on foot and opted to hoist them and their dog to safety. No injuries were reported.

Coast Guard Sector Guam coordinators next received a report Monday night from Guam Fire Rescue Dispatch that a 14-foot aluminum skiff with one person aboard was overdue after departing from Merizo Pier that morning.

Sector Guam personnel requested Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 rescue crews launch to assist Guam Fire Rescue in locating the skiff, which was reported to have no navigation lights, no radio, and no cell phone aboard.

HSC-25 quickly located the skiff approximately one mile west from its last known position near the entrance to Mamaon Channel and directed the Guam Fire Rescue boat to the skiff’s location. Guam Fire Rescue then towed disabled skiff into Merizo Pier.

“These cases highlight the interoperability of the Coast Guard, Navy Helicopter SeaCombat Squadron 25, and Guam Fire Rescue for inland and coastal search and rescue,”said Capt. Thomas M. Sparks, Commander, Sector Guam. “Each agency plays a critical role, and together we get the job done.”

HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron. As part of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific, it provides an armed helicopter capability for 7th and 5th Fleets, as well as detachments to various commands covering a diverse mission set. It is also the Navy’s only squadron that maintains a 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation alert posture directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Guam and Joint Region Marianas.

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