Coast Guard medevacs man 275 miles off Ocean City, Maryland

An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina hoists a burn victim from the container vessel Laura Maersk, 275 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, June 5, 2020. The helicopter crew had to refuel on the Navy ship USS Mahan to refuel on the way to pick up the injured crewmember. (U.S. Coast Guard screenshot by Air Station Elizabeth City)

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina refuels on the Navy ship USS Mahan to refuel on the way to pick up the injured crewmember. (U.S. Coast Guard screenshot by Air Station Elizabeth City)

OCEAN CITY, Md. ⁠— The Coast Guard medevaced a man from a container ship approximately 275 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Friday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Fifth District command center received a report on Thursday evening that an explosion occurred in the engine room of the cargo ship Laura Maersk, which burned a crewmember and disabled the vessel.

Aircrews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina launched to medevac the injured crewmember.


Due to the extensive distance, the Coast Guard Fifth District coordinated with U.S. Fleet Forces Command to have the helicopter land on the USS Mahan (DDG 72) and refuel before conducting the medevac.

Once on scene, the aircrew hoisted the man onto the helicopter and transported him to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

A plan is currently being developed to salvage the disabled vessel.

“U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the USS Mahan were instrumental in getting this crewmember help as soon as possible,” said Lt. David Steele, command duty officer during the case “This case highlights how good communications in a highly complex situation allows us to work together seamlessly to help those in need.”

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