The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(HAGATNA, Guam) — From a 24-hour command center here in Apra Harbor, the U.S. Coast Guard coordinated the successful medevac of two male crew members from a an ocean-going bulk carrier near Saipan.
The 36-hour mission began when the container ship Occam’s Razor emailed the Coast Guard in Hagatna for help Sept. 26. The container ship at that time was 750 nautical miles north of Saipan in favorable weather conditions — with seas of less than four feet and winds out of the east at 10 knots and overcast skies.
The ship’s master reported that two crew members were seriously injured and in critical condition after an accident occurred when cargo shifted unexpectedly. A U.S. Air Force long-range aircraft from Kadena Air Force Base in Japan launched six pararescue jumpers — or “PJs” — to the deck of the container ship for medical assistance at 2:30 a.m. (Guam Standard Time) Sept. 27.
PJs are elite special operations command personnel with advanced medical training and often jump or parachute into hostile or “denied-entry areas” to recover downed military pilots. They are also deployed, however, on humanitarian missions where no other help is available for hours or hundreds of miles.
Coast Guard search and rescue controllers in Guam directed the container ship to a position approximately 150 nautical miles from Saipan and early Sunday both crew members were successfully airlifted by Navy helicopter to Guam for medical treatment.
Two U.S. Navy search and rescue helicopter crews from Guam’s Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five (HSC-25) flew out to the vessel at the offshore rendezvous point and picked up the injured crew members and PJs.
One patient went into cardiac arrest just before the helicopter hoist and the PJs performed CPR for 70 minutes to save his life. That crew member was transferred to Naval Hospital Guam at 8 a.m. Sunday and the second was delivered approximately 45 minutes later.