US Navy, March 11, 2016 - KANEOHE, Hawaii by Chief Petty Officer John Hageman – Sailors from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, the Easyriders, rescued three stranded fishermen approximately 140 nautical miles southwest of Kona, Hawaii this morning at about 2:30 a.m. (HST).
Joint Rescue Coordination Center Hawaii received two Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) alerts from Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB) on board the 41-foot commercial fishing vessel Vicious Cycle and dispatched an MH-60R helicopter from HSM-37, based at Kaneohe Bay, to assist.
The Coast Guard also launched an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley (WMEC 39) and a fishing vessel operating in the vicinity were also diverted to assist.
The fishermen were found in a life raft adrift. The HSM-37 aircrew hoisted them aboard the helicopter and transported them to Kalaeloa Airport where they were then taken to Queen’s Medical Center for evaluation.
“I am extremely proud of our Easyrider team’s ability to flex from a training mission to a life-saving search and rescue,” said Cmdr. Tony Chavez, HSM-37’s commanding officer. “These events happen fast and our nation’s heroes never skip a beat when callen upon to serve.”
HSM-37 is the only helicopter maritime strike squadron in the Middle Pacific (MIDPAC) region and provides a variety of helicopter services to MIDPAC-based combatant ships and submarines in addition to deploying operational detachments. HSM-37 detachments support all Pearl Harbor-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The MH-60R's primary missions are surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare prosecution through utilization of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and MK-46/54 torpedoes. Secondary missions include search and rescue, medical evacuation, vertical replenishment, Naval surface fire support, and communications relay, command, control, communications, and command and control warfare.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.