News: U.S. Navy responds to medical emergency off coast of Guyana
From the U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs
ATLANTIC OCEAN -- A U.S. Navy helicopter from USS Kearsarge rescued a Norwegian citizen who was experiencing heart-attack symptoms aboard an ocean-going tug underway off the coast of Guyana Nov. 12.
A medical evacuation team aboard an MH-60S "Seahawk" helicopter immediately responded to the distress call, hoisting the 45-year-old male from the civilian vessel and transporting the victim to Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Georgetown for subsequent transport to a local hospital.
A Kearsarge team, on the ground in Guyana for a humanitarian mission, was alerted of the medical emergency by a private company specializing in remote medical services for global clients.
Kearsarge is currently located off the coast of Guyana supporting Continuing Promise 2008, a two-phased humanitarian assistance mission involving visits to eight nations in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Since Aug. 12, the ship's medical team has provided health-care services to more 41,000 patients from Nicaragua, Colombia, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana. U.S. Navy and Air Force engineers embarked with the ship have also completed more than a dozen community assistance projects in five countries, including the renovation and reconstruction of schools and health clinics.
Kearsarge's capabilities include the rapid movement of personnel and cargo by helicopter and landing craft, making it an ideal platform for sea-to-shore emergency operations.
In September, U.S. Southern Command dispatched Kearsarge to provide emergency assistance to Haitian communities after a succession of three tropical storms and Hurricane Ike left thousands homeless and isolated from access to food and drinkable water.
The ship remained in Haiti for 19 days and delivered more than 3.3 million pounds of food, water and other critical supplies using eight embarked helicopters and three landing craft.
Information and downloadable imagery of Kearsarge's support to Continuing Promise 2008 and U.S. disaster relief efforts in Haiti is available at www.southcom.mil.