Coast Guard, Navy conduct medevac of fisherman off Hawaii

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The Coast Guard and Navy conducted a medevac of an injured mariner 431 miles off Hilo, Big Island, Thursday.

A Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from the Kaneohe Bay-based Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 (HSM-37) conducted the medevac while an Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew provided overhead support. The injured mariner was brought to Queen’s Medical Center for treatment.

“When it comes to search and rescue in the Pacific distance is always a factor we must consider when formulating a response,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Woodbury, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu (JRCC) watchstander. “Because of the urgency of the situation, we requested the support of HSM-37 due to the Seahawks long range capabilities. The efforts of the HSM-37 crew members allowed us to medevac the mariner sooner and deliver him to higher medical care efficiently.”

At 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu (JRCC) watchstanders received a report from the master of the commercial fishing vessel Lady Alice stating a crew member was suffering from an eye injury he sustained while fishing. A duty flight surgeon was consulted and recommended the mariner be medevaced as soon as possible to receive a higher level of medical care.

The Lady Alice diverted towards Hawaii to close the distance and come within range of hoist capable aircraft while JRCC watchstanders requested HSM-37 assistance. The Seahawk crew launched from Kaneohe once the Lady Alice was within range.

The Hercules aircrew walked the Lady Alice’s crew through the hoist process and provided cover for the Seahawk crew once they arrived on scene and conducted the hoist.

The weather at the time of the rescue was winds of 2 mph and seas up to six feet.

The HSM-37 Easyriders are the largest expeditionary squadron in the Navy and support all Pearl Harbor-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and

Ticonderoga-class cruisers with a focus on anti-submarine surface warfare. They maintain and fly 15 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.

The Coast Guard maintains Hercules airplanes and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters enhancing the readiness of the 14th District with long-range patrol and logistical support capabilities, as well as quick and versatile search and rescue response.

Each search and rescue case presents its own unique challenges and the Coast Guard often works with the Navy throughout the pacific to ensure quick and efficient responses to developing situations.


U.S. Coast Guard 14th District Hawaii and the Pacific
Contact: 14th District Public Affairs
Office: (808) 535-3230
After Hours: (808) 265-7748
14th District online newsroom