U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70) was assisted by the Sri Lanka navy in an emergency medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) September 30 to help a sailor in need of medical attention.
According to the U.S. Navy, Hopper notified Commander, Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 15 that a sailor aboard required MEDEVAC at approximately 9 p.m. on September 29.
Hopper, over 165 miles from shore, didn’t have an embarked helicopter aboard nor were they in close range to available U.S. air assets. Officials then called the Sri Lankan Navy to assist.
Within hours of the initial report, Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa approved Hopper to enter Sri Lankan territorial waters to conduct the medical evacuation via small boat. The medical team provided continuous care for the patient while Hopper made best speed to get closer to Sri Lanka.
At approximately 7:30 a.m., two Sri Lanka navy dvoras, fast patrol boats, met Hopper three miles off the Sri Lankan coast to receive the patient in need of assistance. The sailor was transferred to the dvoras and taken to the mainland, where the patient is currently being treated by medical personnel at Asiri Central Hospital in Colombo.