U.S. Navy ships USS Gravely (DDG 107) and USS Hue City (CG 66) rendered assistance to distressed mariners in the Atlantic Ocean on May 17 and May 24, respectively. The vessels responded to the calls for help following notification by the U.S. Coast Guard.
In the Gravely-involved event, the crew provided life-saving medical support to an injured mariner on a sailboat approximately 600 miles southeast of Bermuda. While the Coast Guard assumes the lead in coordinating maritime search and rescue in the area, sometimes Navy or good Samaritan merchant vessels are requested to assist. Gravely was transiting the Atlantic Ocean when the crew received word about the medical emergency.
Once the Navy ship arrived on scene, the patient was transported from his sailboat to Gravely via small boat. The evolution involved the ship’s medical team providing care to stabilize the patient prior to transport to a shore-based medical care facility.
“This is the kind of mission that any Navy crew rallies around instantly, and that was the case here on Gravely,” said commanding officer Cmdr. Justin Hodges.
Nearly one week later, Hue City responded to a similar call off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla. The ship was about 10 nautical miles north of the distressed fishing vessel’s location when they were notified by the Coast Guard of a situation involving an injured mariner with a compound fracture.
Once the fishing vessel was sighted, Hue City deployed their small boat with the ship’s Hospital Corpsman, Chief Cory Butler, aboard. He provided an initial assessment and began treatment of the injured fisherman. The boat crew then transferred the patient to the Navy vessel and the ship returned to Naval Station Mayport, where emergency medical services were standing by.
“Hue City executed the mission flawlessly,” said commanding officer Capt. Jake Douglas. “They showed they are always ready to respond to any situation and uphold the tradition of assisting fellow mariners at sea.”
Medical response teams aboard Navy surface ships train regularly in accordance with unit-level and integrated phase standards to prepare for situations like these, understanding they must be ready to respond quickly to provide what could be life-saving medical assistance at sea.
Bravo Zulu to the crews of USS Gravely and USS Hue City!