California Air National Guard helicopters raced a Pacific storm front Wednesday in attempt to rescue an injured seaman aboard a merchant vessel traveling 1,000 miles off the Mexican coast.
Two MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, aircrews and Guardian Angel para-rescuemen departed Moffett Field en route to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
The helicopters, accompanied by a C-130, were scheduled to fly to the vessel’s location in the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning, where the para-rescuemen will attempt to hoist the injured sailor off the vessel .
The helicopter extraction of the patient was planned for first light on Thursday when the vessel will be several hundred miles closer to shore.
“This is a complex rescue mission but our highly capable Airmen are ready,” said Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th Rescue Wing Commander. “We have successfully executed two similar missions within the past nine months, saving a total of four lives.”
Officials said the injured man has suffered a serious head injury and needs the care of a neurosurgeon.
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