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Joint efforts rescue foreign nationals

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Miranda Moorer
  • 36 Wing/Public Affairs
Part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25's mission here is to provide 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuations for Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. Recently, several of its members and an Andersen flight surgeon fulfilled that mission when they rescued three injured crew members a Korean ship Jan. 12. 

The Korean vessel Anemone was located approximately 32 nautical miles southwest of Guam. 

HSC 25 provides 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation services for Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.

"I got a call from U.S. Coast Guard with the request from the Korean Ship for medical evacuation of three injured crewmembers," said Capt. (Dr.) Kevin Heacock, a flight surgeon from the 36th Medical Operations Squadron Aerospace Medicine. 

The Coast Guard calls Andersen's on-call flight surgeon for medical issues throughout the Northern Marianas. 

An emergency medical technician, a swimmer, a corpsman, Captain Heacock and Dr. Martin Arrisueño, HSC-25 flight surgeon, responded to the incident in two helicopters. The teams were lowered down to the vessel along with their gear and three litters. 

Aboard the ship was a 35 year old male with 18 percent second degree burns on his face and back; a 57 year old male with 18 percent second degree burns on his face and entire left arm and a 3 inch laceration to his head; and a 55 year old male with partial amputation of four toes on his right foot.

The patients were individually hoisted up into the helicopters and transported to Naval Hospital.

"It was difficult to determine exactly what happened because of communication difficulties; the crew of the ship did not speak English," said Captain Heacock.  "However, we think there may have been an explosion on-board."

Two patients were Korean, and one was Vietnamese.

"The mission successful," said Captain Heacock.  "All patients reached definitive medical care much sooner than they would have without the medevac. This will likely impact each patient's chances for better recovery from their injuries."

All three patients were in stable condition at the time of hand-off to the ambulance crew at Naval Hospital. The plan was to ground transport them to Guam Memorial Hospital. 

"This shows we have a very positive working relationship with our Navy colleagues," said Lt. Col. Robin Shultze, 36th Medical Operations Squadron commander.  "We were able to work side by side in a joint operation to successfully complete this mission."