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Coast Guard and Navy rescue 3 missing divers offshore Guam

Coast Guard and a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter aircrew rescue 3 missing divers offshore Guam
Coast Guard and a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter aircrew rescue 3 missing divers offshore Guam.
Archive image: A U.S. Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter aircrew, assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 «Island Knights», fly by post training exercise off the coast of Guam.
HSC-25 maintains a 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation alert posture, directly supporting the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Guam and Joint Region Marianas.
HSC-25 ensures maritime peace and security in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility.
U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joan E. Jennings.

SANTA RITA, Guam — A Coast Guard and Navy sucessfully completed a search mission with the rescue of three missing divers offshore Guam. A U.S. Navy MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter aircrew located and rescued the three missing divers near Santa Rosa Banks, approximately 25 nautical miles off the coast of Agat, Guam. Saturday, October 28, 2023.

Following search patterns designed by the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Rescue Sub-Center team, Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two-Five personnel, using an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, located the three divers a few miles from their original location at about 3:45 p.m. and performed a successful hoist operation, ensuring their safe rescue.

Watchstanders at JRSC Guam received the initial distress call from the operator of the dive boat at approximately 1 p.m. after the divers failed to surface at 11 a.m. as planned, prompting an immediate and urgent response. The three men reportedly embarked on a recreational dive south of Guam, wearing distinctive bright t-shirts with diving lights and safety sausages. All three divers are considered very experienced; their emergency plan was to surface together if they encountered any issues. 

Dedicated teams swiftly mobilized for the rescue operation. Responding units included the JRSC Guam team, U.S. Coast Guard Station Apra Harbor using a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, and a MH-60S from HSC-25

The critical aviation support provided by the HSC-25 MH-60S Knighthawk crew proved vital to the success of this mission. There are no reported injuries, but responders delivered the divers to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for an additional check-up out of caution.

Lt. Cmdr. Christine Igisomar expressed her gratitude for the dedicated response crews, saying, «This successful rescue underscores the exceptional skills and dedication of our search and rescue teams. Their swift efforts, combined with the crucial aviation support, played a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of these divers. In this region with vast swaths of open ocean, aviation support is often the lifeline that makes all the difference.»

Weather conditions in the area were favorable during the operation, with winds blowing from the east at 13 mph and seas reaching up to 3 feet. 


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