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HSC-25 Rescues Stranded Hikers Near Cetti Bay

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Naval Aircrewmen Helicopter 1st Class Eric Veditz lowers a hoist down to distressed hikers near the Cetti Bay waterfall in Guam. Aircrew from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, in partnership with the Guam Fire Department, rescued five hikers who had become stranded when severe rains and flooding impeded the trail they had been hiking on. (Photo by Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tony Derrick)

04/17/18 12:00 AM

By Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs

YIGO, Guam - Aircrew from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25, in partnership with the Guam Fire Department, rescued five hikers who were stranded atop a cliff while hiking up a stream to the Cetti Bay waterfall in Guam, April 15.

The hikers called 911 on the evening of April 14 when severe rains and flooding blocked the trail and the hikers concluded they were stranded.

HSC-25’s search-and-rescue mission was initially delayed due to thunderstorms but were able to safely launch early the next morning. Once airborne, the aircrew coordinated with Guam Fire & Rescue to determine the location of the hikers and were able to spot the group, waving a white towel, shortly after arriving on scene. 

The aircrew descended into a hover within the jungle canyon and hoisted each of the five hikers into the MH-60S helicopter. Following recovery, the hikers were transported to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for follow-on treatment.

"HSC-25 aircrews are trained to safely respond to a variety of dynamic missions.  In concert with a team of Island Knight maintenance professionals, we stand ready to assist the people of Guam whenever possible," said Cmdr. William Eastham, HSC-25 commanding officer. “Our squadron continues to work hand-in-hand with local agencies such as Guam Fire Rescue and this is an example of the strength of our partnership."  

This was the seventh successful search-and-rescue mission executed by HSC-25 personnel this year.

Aircrew involved in the rescue felt it was a team effort, from the communications to the pilots maneuvering the helicopter to the rescue swimmer recovering the personnel.

"As The Island Knights of HSC-25, we take pride in the ongoing opportunity to support the local civilian and military community here on Guam and throughout the Northern Mariana Islands,” said Lt. j.g. Kristian Ward, the co-pilot on the rescue mission. “Yesterday's crew worked efficiently to rescue all five hikers from the mountain-side and transport them to safety in time to enjoy the rest of their weekend."

HSC-25 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability to Joint Region Marianas and Amphibious Force 7th Fleet with two rotating detachments based in Atsugi, Japan. HSC-25 is based in Guam, where aircrews train for upcoming deployments and maintain a 24-hour search-and-rescue and medical evacuation alert posture.  

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