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Filipino seafarer with health problem rescued off Saipan

US Navy, Filipino seamen, Pinoy seamen

NEW YORK — A Filipino seafarer exhibiting symptoms of stroke was rescued by personnel from the US Coast Guard and Navy off the coast of Saipan early this month.

According to the US Coast Guard's Joint Rescue Sub-Center in Guam, they received a medical evacuation request from the vessel Antwerpen Express on February 9, 2024 while it was sailing 550 nautical miles northeast of Saipan.

The 37-year-old Filipino, who was not identified, was airlifted to the Naval Hospital and transported to Memorial Hospital in Guam, where he is now under observation by medical professionals.

"HSC-25 conducts more medical evacuations and search and rescue missions than any other Navy helicopter unit," said Commander Neil Toohey, commanding officer of US Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, reflecting on the squadron's critical role in the region. 

"We take great pride in our ability to support the people of Guam and mariners navigating these waters. Today's operation is a testament to our team's dedication and expertise," he said.

Antwerpen Express is a 1,202-foot Germany-flagged container ship.

The global shipping industry, which carries 80% of international trade, employs about 1.2 million seafarers, mostly from the Philippines.

The successful medical evacuation follows closely after a rescue operation by Guam Fire and HSC-25, who saved an injured hiker at San Carlos Falls on February 3. —KBK, GMA Integrated News