US 7th Fleet sailors rescue divers off Guam

Photo: US Navy

US Navy’s Guam-based “Island Knight” sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 rescued three divers separated from their boat more than 15 miles from the Guam shore on July 26.

US Coast Guard Sector Guam notified HSC-25 that the divers who were spearfishing had gone missing. A rescue mission was launched immediately by HSC-25 Alert Search and Rescue led by Aircraft Commander Lt. Jessica O’brien.

All three divers were located in open-ocean, recovered via helicopter hoist, and returned to Naval Hospital Guam in stable condition.

“As the rescue swimmer on scene, I am thankful our crew was able to locate all three survivors quickly and prior to sunset,” said Naval Aircrewmen (Helicopter) 2nd Class Jacob Ward. “We train diligently for challenging scenarios and it is rewarding to see the results of that in lives saved.”

The incident was the 22nd emergency call to HSC-25 by US Coast Guard Sector Guam and marks 10 survivor recoveries during search and rescue and medical evacuations in 2018 to date.

“Open ocean rescues are inherently dynamic and require abundant determination from the entire Island Knight team to achieve success safely and efficiently,” said HSC-25 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. William Eastham. “We are proud to partner with USCG Sector Guam to serve the citizens of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

HSC-25 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability for units in the US 7th Fleet area of operations and maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting US Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. It is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron.

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