USCG Medevacs Burned Crew Member of Maersk Ship in Atlantic

Mike Schuler
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June 5, 2020

An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina responds to an incident on board the container vessel Laura Maersk, 275 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, June 5, 2020. U.S. Coast Guard image from video

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a crew member of a Maersk containership who sustained burns in some kind of engine room explosion approximately 275 miles off the coast of Ocean City, North Carolina on Friday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s Fifth District command center received a report on Thursday evening that an explosion occurred in the engine room of the cargo ship Laura Maersk, which burned a crewmember and disabled the vessel.

Aircrews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina launched to medevac the injured crewmember. Due to the long distance, the Coast Guard Fifth District coordinated with U.S. Fleet Forces Command to have the helicopter land on the USS Mahan (DDG 72) and refuel before conducting the medevac.

Once on scene, the aircrew hoisted the man onto the helicopter and transported him to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

A plan is currently being developed to salvage the disabled vessel.

“U.S. Fleet Forces Command and the USS Mahan were instrumental in getting this crewmember help as soon as possible,” said Lt. David Steele, command duty officer during the case “This case highlights how good communications in a highly complex situation allows us to work together seamlessly to help those in need.”

The Laura Maersk is registered in Denmark and AIS ship tracking data shows it is sailing from Algeciras, Spain.

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