The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) provided assistance to a Marshall Islands-flagged merchant vessel, C Elephant, in the Gulf of Oman after receiving word of a mariner in distress from U.S. Naval Forces Central Command at approximately 4:30 p.m., Oct. 6.
The vessel was operating approximately 130 miles from Harry S. Truman when the aircraft carrier was informed of the request for medical assistance.
A helicopter assigned to the Dusty Dogs of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7 launched from Harry S. Truman at approximately 6:39 p.m. with a medical team to assist in evacuating the mariner.
“The crew performed exceptionally well,” said Cmdr. Brian Knowles, commanding officer of HSC-7. “This was an extremely challenging litter hoist under low light conditions off a civilian-flagged oil tanker. The teamwork between the air and medical departments was outstanding.”
After a brief stop to Harry S. Truman for fuel, an additional medical assessment and medical supplies, the helicopter continued to Oman where the mariner was met by an ambulance and taken to a hospital for further treatment.
“We welcome the opportunity to provide assistance when needed,” said Capt. Bob Roth, Harry S. Truman’s commanding officer. “My hat is off to the crew of Dusty 612. We were able to monitor their flight closely and the video of their rescue shows the great skill of their pilots and bravery of the rescue crew, it was an impressive display of flying.”
Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, cited the event as an example of how teamwork is important in the maritime environment.
“Teamwork is the key to everything we do out here,” he said. “I’m very proud of the cooperation between Truman and Carrier Air Wing 3 every day, but especially in situations like this one where we can help someone who was clearly in need of immediate assistance.”
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is deployed supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
Press Release, October 25, 2013; Image: US Navy