Coast Guard Planning Rescue of Two From Ship 750 Miles North of Saipan

HAGATNA, Guam– From a 24-hour command center here in Apra Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard is coordinating the medevac of two male crew members from a an ocean-going bulk carrier 750 nautical miles north of Saipan.

The two container ship crew members are in critical condition after an accident aboard the vessel Sept. 26. A U.S. Air Force long-range aircraft from Kadena Air Force Base in Japan is en route to the container ship’s position. The Air Force will deploy four pararescue jumpers — or “PJs” — to the deck of the container ship for medical assistance.

PJs are elite special operations command personnel with advanced medical training and often jump or parachute into hostile or “denied-entry areas” to recover downed military pilots. They are also deployed, however, on humanitarian missions where no other help is available for hours or hundreds of miles.

Coast Guard search and rescue controllers in Guam plan to direct the container ship to a position approximately 150 nautical miles from Saipan later Saturday. Two U.S. Navy search and rescue helicopter crews from Guam’s Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five (HSC-25) will fly to the rendezvous point and then transfer the injured crew members to Naval Hospital Guam for urgent care.

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