EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia Operation Atalanta warship ESPS Meteoro recently evacuated a member of the ships crew who had a medical issue. The ship had been conducting counter piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.
The ship broke from counter-piracy operations and closed the coast of Djibouti at maximum speed. When within helicopter range of the Hospital in Djibouti the ship launched its SH60B helicopter with the patient and medical personnel onboard. During the transit the patient was carefully monitored and treated by the embarked medical officer and medical personnel.
The patient was treated at the hospital in Djibouti and is making a recovery. The patient, once fit to make the journey, will be transferred back to Spain.
Medical transfers are a routine operation carried out by units of EU Naval Force. In the past EU Naval Force units have also assisted merchant ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean who have required medical attention.
In general, the ships deployed with Operation Atalanta also have extensive medical facilities onboard, however if a member of the ships company of any unit requires medical assistance beyond that treatable onboard they will be transferred to the nearest better equipped unit or the nearest hospital within the region. The hospitals suitable for such transfers are regularly checked to ensure they meet medical standards. The safety of crews of ships is of the highest priority for the Commanding Officers of units and operations.
Following the evacuation ESPS Meteoro returned to her counter-piracy duties.
ESPS Meteoro joined EU Naval Force in August 2013 and will remain in the operation for 4 months.
Press Release, September 02, 2013; Image: Navy