Coast Guard aircraft are equipped to drop lifesaving equipment to individuals in distress. Life rafts, radios, emergency rations and medical supplies are the most common, but flexibility in operations is necessary in order to save lives at sea.
This weekend, a Coast Guard aircrew flew approximately 1,036 miles to airdrop blood and medical supplies to a cruise ship northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.
Personnel aboard the cruise ship Oosterdam contacted watchstanders at Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu at approximately 4 a.m. requesting medical assistance for an ailing passenger. The ship’s doctor was treating a 70-year-old man for internal bleeding. A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended an airdrop of blood, platelets and transfusion equipment.
An HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point successfully dropped six units of blood, one pack of platelets and two transfusion kits received from Tripler Army Medical Center and the Blood Bank of Hawaii via parachute to medical personnel aboard the Oosterdam.
Take a look at the lifesaving drop in the video above to see the aircrew in action!