Locally based helicopter squadrons helping Hurricane Harvey victims

Posted at 9:41 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 23:20:07-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Two locally based helicopter squadrons are currently in Texas flying rescue missions to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

"We give people hope that if the Navy's coming you've got a pretty good shot of being safe and we bet our careers on that," said Lt. Benjamin Bontrader.

The images coming out of the Houston area are beyond devastating. That's why HSC-7 and HSC -28 are there to help save countless victims who are trapped because of high water. They are flying the MH 60 Sierra aircraft, which allows them to rescue people in the dark. They can fit up 14 people in their helo.

"They were in the air for 37 hours and rescued 227 people. 21 of those people had to be hoisted up into the aircraft," said Commander Dave Hecht.

Crews are typically accustomed to flying in open water and the city environment brings its own set of challenges with tall buildings and power lines.

"Instead of focusing on how quickly and effectively can I fly and get the people out of the bad satiation you're concerned about how do I safely get my helicopter to that place, safely get them out and safely get them to the drop off zone," said Lt. Bontrader.

The squadrons will be in Texas as long as they are needed.