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HomeNewsArchivesCoast Guard Airlifts Dutch Girl from Sailing Ship Near St. Thomas

Coast Guard Airlifts Dutch Girl from Sailing Ship Near St. Thomas

A helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen conducted the medical evacuation of a 16-year-old girl from the sailing vessel Wylde Swan on Monday morning, approximately 85 nautical miles east of Saint Thomas.

The patient, a Dutch citizen, suffered medical complications while onboard the Netherlands-flagged, 170-foot special purpose sailing trainee vessel. The situation required the girl to receive immediate medical attention ashore.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center received a request for assistance from the crew of Wylde Swan about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and dispatched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Borinquen, which was currently patrolling in the vicinity of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The helicopter and aircrew arrived on scene and deployed their rescue swimmer to the sailing vessel to assess the patient’s condition.

Despite six-foot waves and rough seas that had the ship’s 90-foot mast swinging, the patient was placed in the helicopter’s rescue basket and hoisted aboard the aircraft, followed by Wylde Swan’s nurse.

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"This was a very demanding medevac,” said Lt. Zach Geyer, the aircraft commander, who noted that it was flight mechanic AMT2 Marimercy Delong’s “first live rescue hoist.”

"She and the entire crew performed superbly," Geyer said.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew transferred the patient to emergency medical services personnel at the Cyril E. King Airport on Saint Thomas for transport to the Schneider Regional Medical Center, where the youth received additional medical care.

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A helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen conducted the medical evacuation of a 16-year-old girl from the sailing vessel Wylde Swan on Monday morning, approximately 85 nautical miles east of Saint Thomas.

The patient, a Dutch citizen, suffered medical complications while onboard the Netherlands-flagged, 170-foot special purpose sailing trainee vessel. The situation required the girl to receive immediate medical attention ashore.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center received a request for assistance from the crew of Wylde Swan about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and dispatched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Borinquen, which was currently patrolling in the vicinity of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The helicopter and aircrew arrived on scene and deployed their rescue swimmer to the sailing vessel to assess the patient’s condition.

Despite six-foot waves and rough seas that had the ship's 90-foot mast swinging, the patient was placed in the helicopter’s rescue basket and hoisted aboard the aircraft, followed by Wylde Swan’s nurse.

"This was a very demanding medevac,” said Lt. Zach Geyer, the aircraft commander, who noted that it was flight mechanic AMT2 Marimercy Delong's “first live rescue hoist.”

"She and the entire crew performed superbly," Geyer said.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew transferred the patient to emergency medical services personnel at the Cyril E. King Airport on Saint Thomas for transport to the Schneider Regional Medical Center, where the youth received additional medical care.