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129th Rescue Wing Out to the Rescue in Pacific

The unit stationed at Moffett Field finds itself 700 miles off coast of Acapulco, Mexico in attempt to rescue to injured fishermen.

This was not a drill.

Two injured Chinese fishermen have been rescued by members of the 129th Rescue Wing stationed at Moffett Field who today conducted a long-range, over-water rescue on a fishing vessel about 700 miles off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico.

"The 129th Rescue Wing provides great value to California and the nation by responding to rescues beyond the capability of other first responders," said Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th Rescue wing commander. "This remains a complex and dangerous rescue mission, but our dedicated Airmen remain committed to helping these fishermen."

According to statements, the mission began Sunday to provide lifesaving medical treatment to two sailors severely injured in a diesel fire on the Chinese fishing vessel, Fu Yuan Yu 871. A MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, aircrews, and Guardian Angel pararescuemen flew directly to the Fu Yuan Yu.

Equipped with medical supplies, Guardian Angel Pararescuemen parachuted off an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft into the Pacific Ocean and boarded an inflatable Zodiac boat. They then maneuvered the boat next to the Chinese fishing vessel before boarding and providing medical treatment to the two badly burned fishermen.

Two Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters departed Monday morning en route to the fishing vessel’s location, where aircrews hoisted the pararescuemen and fishermen off the fishing vessel onto the helicopters hovering above.

The fishermen will be flown to Acapulco and then transferred to an aircraft headed to the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, Calif. The fishermen are scheduled to arrive in Miramar this evening and will then be transported to University of California San Diego Medical Center, for further treatment.

The 129th Rescue Wing trains and prepares to perform its wartime mission of combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. In addition to its wartime mission, the unit also works closely with the Coast Guard and various civil agencies on state missions that includes helping distressed persons aboard ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations. The total number of people saved by the 129th is 948.

Esther March 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM
There are no words that can comprehend the complexity of this mission and thank you seems so trite to say ... for what these people int the 129th Rescue Wing in the Pacific has accomplished.
Claudia Cruz (Editor) March 14, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Did you see some of the photos, Esther? http://patch.com/A-r6VX

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