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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Airmen assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland, completed their second rescue within a month last week when they pulled an injured fisherman from his boat.

On April 10, they rescued and safely transported a fisherman suffering from multiple injuries and having trouble breathing after being struck in the chest by a broken cable while fishing 200 miles southeast of the base, according to a press release from the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England.

The 56th Rescue Squadron is part of the 85th Group in Iceland, which falls under the 48th Fighter Wing.

Last month, squadron members pulled a fisherman who had lost his foot in an accident from another fishing vessel.

The squadron was called at 1:16 a.m. April 10 by the Icelandic Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center about the incident, the press release said.

With weather conditions listed as marginal, the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter lifted off from the base at 3:10 a.m.

The weather worsened while the crew flew along the coast to the last known location of the fishing vessel.

Blowing snow, light icing and winds of nearly 40 mph made flying on a moonless night more difficult, the release said.

The crew tried several times to make radio contact with the fishing boat, but was unsuccessful.

Information was relayed to the fishing boat crew from the Coast Guard through the 56th Rescue Squadron’s operations officer at the base.

Using the helicopter’s weather radar, the crew found the vessel bouncing in rough seas around 5:10 a.m.

After several attempts, a pararescue airman was able to reach the ship and assess the situation and the injured man’s condition.

After lifting the patient to the helicopter, the crew began a flight to the hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland.

However, fuel levels and weather conditions forced the helicopter to land at NAS Keflavik. A waiting ambulance took the man to a hospital.

The 56th Rescue Squadron’s mission is to provide North Atlantic theater rescue, combat rescue and reaction force response services for the 85th Group, the NATO base and the government of Iceland.

The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters are the only Air Force aircraft permanently stationed at NAS Keflavik.


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