When it comes to the Pacific Ocean, we're all pretty much in this together. Two Chinese seamen with severe burns on a fishing vessel 700 miles off Acapulco were brought safely to land by crews from the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard. The mission began over the weekend and by Monday night the fishermen from the Fu Yuan Yu #871 were on shore and headed to the hospital. Blow-by-blow from the 129th's announcement up at Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View:
The rescue phase of the mission began Sunday when Guardian Angel Pararescuemen parachuted off an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft into the Pacific Ocean and boarded an inflatable Zodiac boat. Equipped with medical supplies, the pararescuemen maneuvered the boat next to the Chinese fishing vessel before boarding and providing medical treatment to the injured fishermen.
Two Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters departed Monday morning en route to the fishing vessel's location. Aircrews hoisted the pararescuemen and fishermen off the fishing vessel onto the helicopters hovering above. The fishermen were flown to Acapulco on the Pave Hawks and then to the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif. on a MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft. They will receive further medical treatment in San Diego, Calif.
"I could not be prouder of our Airmen's extraordinary efforts during this mission," said Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th Rescue Wing Commander. "This mission is a testament to the first response capabilities our wing provides to California and the nation."
Video from out in the Pacific as the injured Chinese are hoisted onto a California chopper:
Below, one of the patients is brought aboard a C-130 medical plane:
While we're feeling all proud: Two years ago in Haiti, "Suddenly, help arrives. Firefighters from Los Angeles."
Photo: Airman 1st Class John Pharr