As Coast Guardsmen gear up and head towards Haiti to provide assistance in the wake of Hurricane Tomas, a forward staged MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew responded to a call for help from a container ship about 200 miles northeast of Nassau Bahamas. A crewmember was suffering from internal bleeding and required medical care.
The crew launched from Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) on Andros Island, Bahamas, to hoisted the man off the ship as then Hurricane Tomas churned up the seas.
“We were able to safely hoist the ill man despite heightened sea and wind conditions, and obstacles aboard the vessel,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Geskus, the crew’s rescue swimmer. “Our lift elevation had to be approximately 90 feet because of cranes aboard the vessel, which when combined with the 30-knot winds and 10 to 15-foot seas, made for a challenging rescue.”
Geskus and the Jayhawk helicopter crew are based at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, in Clearwater, Fla.
CGC Forward is currently on scene in Haiti conducting port assessments and CGC Confidence departs today to provide assistance. The Coast Guard, and other U.S. forces, responded following the storm to support Haiti as the island continues to deal with the devastation from January’s earthquake.