Coast Guard and Navy team up to airlift sick crewman off container ship 400 miles off California coast

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard worked jointly with the Navy to airlift a sick crewman Monday night from the container ship Horizon Spirit transiting 460 miles west of San Diego.

To be able to fly its long-range rescue mission, the Coast Guard Air Station San Diego-based MH-60 Jayhawk refueled aboard the Navy ship USS Peleliu before recovering the sick man, the ship’s captain, from the 800-foot container ship. The helicopter returned to the Navy vessel where the man was stabilized overnight. At 9:30 a.m. today, the Coast Guard flew the man to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla arriving there at approximately 10:30 a.m.

“This is very exciting for us. It’s really great to use the Peleliu’s resources to help someone in this way,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cari Matthews, a 15th MEU flight surgeon. “As a doctor, you always want to give people the best care that you can and to be able to provide assistance.”

“We are extremely pleased with the outstanding rescue efforts to safely medevac the ship’s captain,” said Capt. Gwyn Johnson, the 11th Coast Guard’s District’s, Chief of Response. “Excellent coordination between the Coast Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center, the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon, a Coast Guard C-130, and MH-60, as well as the Navy’s USS Peleliu. Due to the extreme distance, the rescue operations required assistance from both air and sea.”



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