Rescue On The High Seas- USCG Helicopter Crew Interviewed

John Konrad
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February 28, 2008


This past July, in a gCaptain and Robin Storm exclusive, we brought you the Lessons Learned by North Atlantic freak wave survivor Jean Pierre de Lutz. Just two months prior to that article Jean was aboard the sailboat Sean Seamor II when he found trouble in the north Atlantic. In the final logbook entry he writes:

USCG Resuce Helicopter On or around 7 May 2007 the s/v Sean Seamour II was struck by a what is believed to be a “freak wave”, during Subtropical Storm Andrea. The sailboat was broadsided by a wave that did an great deal of damage to the boat and sent the crew flying about the cabin doing 360’s and causing its Master to break his ribs. The wave caused the sailboat to immediately list starboard.

After a harrowing time riding the waves a EPIRB signal was received by the USCG and a C-130 over fight located the wave riding crew. A J-Hawk Helicopter was dispatched to the area and launched a rescue swimmer, who injured his back during the insertion into the water, when a wave dropped from beneath him and he dropped some 50 to 70 feet. All of this done in 50 to 70 foot seas, with winds estimated at 80 knots.

Today we bring you an MAIS Podcast interview with the entire crew of the J-Hawk Helicopter that came to their rescue. It’s a story of survival in nature’s harshest conditions so be sure to listen.


Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Drew D. Dazzo, H-60 Rescue Swimmer
Lieutenant Commander Nevada A. Smith, H-60 Aircraft Commander
Lieutenant Junior Grade Aaron G. Nelson, H-60 Copilot
Aviation Maintenance Technician Second Class Scott D. Higgins, H-60 Flight Mechanic

Read the Award Ceremony Minutes HERE.


Background Reading

MAIS Special Report – Rescue on The High Seas;

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