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  • Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Ailing passenger plucked off cruise ship by 'Island Knights'

Sailors from the Andersen Air Force-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 provided emergency assistance to a cruise passenger in distress early Monday.

At approximately 9:45 p.m. Sunday, HSC-25 was notified by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam that a passenger aboard MV Arcadia was experiencing a medical emergency. After the Arcadia transited within helicopter range of Guam, a rescue mission was launched by HSC-25 Alert Search and Rescue led by Aircraft Commander Lt. Richard Schuster. The passenger in distress was recovered via helicopter hoist and taken to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam in stable condition.

“Flying to a cruise ship was a unique and challenging MEDEVAC experience,” said Schuster. “We continually practice to prevail when needed most. 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 marks two recoveries 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 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability for units in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search-and-rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron.

Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class Ty Nichols, assigned to the “Island Knights” is lowered

to the deck of the MV Arcadia to provide emergency assistance to a cruise passenger

in distress during the MEDEVAC.Photo courtesy U.S. Navy/HSC-25


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