Photos: USS Winston S. Churchill medevacs injured sailor from cargo ship near Yemen

Posted at 2:08 PM, Aug 22, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-22 14:18:25-04

The guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill medevaced an injured sailor from the Panamanian-flagged, bulk carrier M/V Belde on Monday. The ship was about 110 miles north of Socotra Island, Yemen.

At approximately 1:10 p.m. local time, Winston S. Churchill responded to a
distress call saying one sailor had been killed and another injured in a cargo-handling accident aboard Belde.

After arriving on scene, Winston S. Churchill dispatched two rigid-hull
inflatable boats, transporting the ship’s hospital corpsman, and the visit,
board, search and seizure (VBSS) team to assess the injured sailor.

The injured sailor required advanced medical care and the Churchill conducted a medevac, transporting the injured crew member by an SH-60B helicopter to an Oman medical facility for treatment.

“There are a multitude of hazards in the maritime domain. As such, we are
always ready to assist,” said Cmdr. Christopher D. Stone, the Churchill’s
commanding officer. “Our sympathies go out to those affected by this tragic
incident. We, as partners in the maritime commons, are always ready and
willing to help and are glad that we were in the right place at the right
time to lend a hand.”

Stone added that he was proud of his crew for successfully completing a
rescue mission in “incredibly complex” conditions.

“The personal and professional satisfaction of knowing that the outstanding
efforts of this ship and this crew saved another mariner’s life is second to
none. It is days like today that makes me proud to be a member of the
United States Navy and this coalition. I am incredibly proud to be the
Commanding Officer of Winston S. Churchill,” said Stone.

The Churchill is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 150, as part of Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), conducting counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean.