By SOF Editor on Mon, 11/09/2009 - 11:09am
The Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) responded to a distress signal from a civilian vessel in the early morning of Nov. 7, resulting in the rescue of three Canadian civilian mariners from an overturned sailboat, approximately 300 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Coordination between the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Navy 2nd Fleet Maritime Operations Center resulted in the identification of the Eisenhower as a logistics platform, due to the ship's medical personnel and refueling capabilities for supporting aircraft, as the best available asset to render aid.
The Eisenhower then quickly steamed toward the mariners. Soon afterward, a Coast Guard helicopter landed on the ship's flight deck to refuel and pick up one of the ship's flight surgeons to help with the rescue. The helicopter team then rescued the mariners in distress and flew them to a hospital in North Carolina.
"I'm very proud of the amazing work the Eisenhower team accomplished to save the lives of these mariners in danger", said Capt. Dee Mewbourne, the ship's commanding officer. "From the Medical Department that helped treat the injured, to the Air Department that refueled the helicopter, to the bridge team that navigated the ship to where it needed to be, and to the Engineering and reactor departments that gave us the power to get there, all did a great job working together to make it happen safely and efficiently. It's this teamwork, within the ship and with our colleagues in the Coast Guard, that make our Maritime forces the best on the world."
Eisenhower is conducting a Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) in preparation for its upcoming 2010 deployment. COMPTUEX, scheduled by Commander, U.S. Second Fleet (C2F) and conducted by a training team led by Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL), is a joint/combined exercise conducted off the East Coast of the United States.