The SIU-crewed Pacific Tracker recently aided a boater who’d suffered an unusual ailment that started as a nuisance and eventually became an emergency: a nosebleed that lasted four days. Mariners from the TOTE-operated ship rendered assistance July 10-11 off the California coast. They picked up the distressed boater and transported him to a Coast Guard helicopter near San Francisco.
According to Chief Mate A.J. Quinn, a member of the Seafarers-affiliated American Maritime Officers, the Pacific Tracker had concluded a government mission when the ship received a communication from the Coast Guard. The agency explained the emergency and said the individual in question has been participating in a yacht race between Hawaii and California. A doctor who’d been consulted about the situation informed the Coast Guard that the injured person needed to get to a hospital as soon as possible, Quinn said.
The Pacific Tracker sailed approximately 200 miles to the boater’s location in the Pacific, picked him up in a fast rescue boat and brought him aboard the parent ship. Vessel master Capt. Jeff Royer arranged to meet a Coast Guard helicopter off the coast of San Francisco, 570 miles east of the rescue location.
According to Quinn, the voyage took more than a day to complete even at full speed and in favorable sea conditions. Once the Pacific Tracker reached the rendezvous point for the Coast Guard helicopter, the captain maneuvered the vessel to comply with instructions from the helicopter crew. The helicopter then deployed a rescue swimmer onto the deck of the Pacific Tracker with the helicopter rescue winch; the patient was transferred safely.
The Pacific Tracker is a government- owned tracking and telemetry ship in service for the Missile Defense Agency.
SIU members aboard the ship during the rescue included Bosun Kevin Kellum, ABs Kennard Latson Graham and Joey Benosa, OS Sameer Ahmed, QMEDs Roberto Borras Valencia, James Ross, Marion Collins Jr. and David Kelch, MDR Sheena Jumamil, Oilers Samuel Fagerness and Fredrick Hall, Wiper Jesse Kleinfelter, GUDE Dionesio Monteclaro Jr., GVA Micah Wideman, Chief Cooks Brittany Williams and Nicoll Quinones-Rodriguez, and SAs Kion Miller, Dan Monteclaro, James Petite, Michael Stroud, Rasha Warthem and Lisa Wert.
Rear Adm. Doug Williams of the Missile Defense Agency sent a congratulatory letter to the Pacific Tracker’s captain and crew.
“Thanks to your actions, this sailor received the medical attention he urgently required, Williams wrote. “As a U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer, I am well aware of the time-critical response desperately required for a sailor in need, particularly in open ocean waters. Your actions, along with the efforts of the crew members onboard the SS Pacific Tracker, made a difference in that sailor’s life, and demonstrated the values that we hold dear in the Navy and by the Missile Defense Agency…. Please accept my sincere appreciation for your support of the search and rescue efforts, and pass on a hearty ‘Bravo Zulu’ to your crew…. We are proud and honored by your service to our program and to our country.”