The guided missile frigate USS Hawes (FFG 53) provided medical assistance to a Liberian cargo vessel while conducting Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the southern Persian Gulf, March 30.
Hawes received a distress call that morning from MV Harmony, a Liberian merchant cargo vessel. A crew member was having chest pains and shortness of breath, so Hawes changed course and increased speed to close the distance. Once Hawes was alongside the Harmony, the ship’s visit, board, search and seizure team boarded the vessel to render aid.
“This was my first time with the boarding team,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Stephen Flores. “I wasn’t concerned about my own safety, but was just thinking of the patient.”
Flores immediately checked the patient’s vitals and did a full examination, finding that the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure were extremely high. He determined the patient was dehydrated and had a severe infection. Flores administered a saline solution intravenously and a shot of penicillin to stabilize the patient so he could be transferred to a hospital when Harmony entered port later that day.
The Hawes’ boarding team said the crew of the Harmony was friendly and thankful for the help. Upon completion of the medical assistance, another Liberian merchant vessel hailed Hawes via radio to thank the Hawes for their assistance to the Harmony.
“This is yet another example of the wide range of actions possible in Maritime Security Operations,” said Hawes’ Commanding Officer Cmdr. Chuck Marks. “Rendering assistance to those in need exemplifies a traditional mission that the U.S. Navy always embraces.”
MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
By Ensign Dan Guinn, USS Hawes Public Affairs