Today, during a live interview with CNN (see video above), Guardians discussed ongoing Haiti response efforts and highlighted a miraculous rescue that took place two days ago in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
“We had just dropped off two other patients on the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and we got a message from the CGC Tahoma that they had a victim that had been rescued from trapped rubble down in the Palace area of Port-Au-Prince,” said Lieutenant Commander Bill Strickland, the MH-65 aircraft commander from the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron Jacksonville. “It was an amazing effort of coordination between the CGC Tahoma and our District Command Center in Miami and also volunteers on the ground using e-mail and text messages… we were able to pinpoint her location near the Palace and make a nighttime landing.”
The Coast Guard learned of the woman’s rescue from Anderson Cooper as he was broadcasting live at the scene on CNN’s AC360° (click here to watch the AC360° video). Guardians then began to coordinate with the CNN crew, rescuers on the ground and Center for the Rural Development of Milot (CRUDEM) officials to airlift the woman to the amphibious assault U.S. Naval Ship Bataan (LHD-5) for immediate care.
“It’s an extraordinary situation, so it’s taking extraordinary measures. Anything that we can do to get information to rescuers and first responders on scene,” said Captain James McPherson, Coast Guard spokesman in Port-au-Prince. “We’ve used e-mail. We’ve used text messaging. We’ve called CNN in Atlanta. We’ve done everything we’ve had to do to get the locations of people in distress. The Coast Guard’s been doing that for rescuing people for 200 years, but now we have to use new ways to do it.”