Four lives saved

Refuels with a U.S. Navy missile destroyer, a vessel in distress 300 miles off the coast and heroic aircrews – yesterday’s rescue by Air Station Elizabeth City had it all! You don’t have to take our word for it though, check out the action for yourself in the video above!

The mission began when it was reported that a 42-foot sailboat had become disabled and was adrift during its transit from New York to the British Virgin Islands. The sailboat had four people aboard and was approximately 300 miles east of Cape Henry, Va. Watchstanders at the 5th Coast Guard District determined that responding with a Coast Guard cutter was not feasible due to the distance offshore. Watchstanders then contacted U.S. Fleet Forces requesting a Navy vessel to assist the Coast Guard in their response. The USS Ross, a 505-foot guided missile destroyer, diverted course to provide a refueling platform for a Coast Guard helicopter.

Crews from both a Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft were launched from Air Station Elizabeth City. The Jayhawk refueled aboard the USS Ross, completed their hoist of the four sailors, then refueled again with the USS Ross before finally making it back to the air station safely.

A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., lands aboard the USS Ross, a 505-foot guided missle destroyer, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. The Jayhawk was responding to a disabled sailboat with four people aboard 300 miles east of Cape Henry, Va., and needed the Navy platform to refuel before and after they hoisted the people from the sailboat into the helicopter. U.S. Navy photo.

A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., lands aboard the USS Ross, a 505-foot guided missle destroyer, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. The Jayhawk was responding to a disabled sailboat with four people aboard 300 miles east of Cape Henry, Va., and needed the Navy platform to refuel before and after they hoisted the people from the sailboat into the helicopter. U.S. Navy photo.

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