By Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs
Guam-based “Island Knights” Sailors of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 rescued two local spear fishermen after their personal watercraft sank off the east coast of Guam Thursday.
The men were able to battle the surf and traversed the jagged reef to shore, but were stranded on the cliff line with no avenue of rescue from shore or sea.
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam notified HSC-25 of the incident and HSC-25 Search and Rescue led by Aircraft Commander, Lt. Cmdr. Sean Rice successfully recovered the two men via airborne hoist and delivered them to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.
“This rescue highlighted the professionalism and efficiency of the Island Knight Team,” said Rice. “We received the report during preflight for a scheduled flight event. Within minutes, our maintenance team had the aircraft ready for an expeditious launch. We were able to proceed to an accurate location provided by the squadron duty officer, where Petty Officer Medlin spotted the survivors within minutes of beginning the search. Lt. Ramos moved the aircraft into a stable hover, allowing Petty Officer Washington to deploy via hoist, rapidly recovering both survivors. They were attended to en route to Naval Hospital Guam by Petty Officer Bowen, where they were turned over a mere thirty minutes after launch."
The incident was the 9th emergency call to HSC-25 by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, the 4th in three weeks, and marks seven recoveries during search and rescue and medical evacuations in 2019.
“I keep saying that I could not be prouder of the Sailors of HSC-25” said Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Frank Loforti. “But every week our Sailors take the squadron to a new level. We have the finest Sailors in the fleet, and I can’t thank them enough for ensuring our aircraft are always ready!”
HSC-25 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability for units in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron.