Sailors, Merchant Mariner praised for helping machete-attack victim
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Two U.S. Navy sailors and a U.S. Merchant Marine 3rd mate quickly gave crucial first aid and summoned emergency medical care for the victim of a bloody machete attack they witnessed in Singapore on Monday.
Capt. Michael Bacher of the USNS McDonnell, the trio’s ship, said he was “certain” his crewmembers saved the man’s life. “The display of courage and bravery displayed by these sailors” and the merchant marine “is reflective of the best the Navy has to offer,” Bacher said.
The victim’s name was not given but as of Monday, he had a “positive prognosis for recovery,” according to the ship’s situation report.
Merchant Marine 3rd Mate Colin Campbell, of Salem, Ore.; Petty Officer 2nd Class Paulryan Judi of Niles, Ill.; and Seaman Gregory Chaney of Dallas, Texas, work on the USNS John McDonnell, a Military Sealift Command oceanographic survey ship in Singapore for a port visit.
They were in a taxi en route to the Clarks Quay nightlife district about 3 a.m. Monday when they saw one man repeatedly hack another with a machete, sheath the blade in his pants and run away.
“All of us bolted from the cab and ran to the victim,” said Campbell.
“The sheer violence of the attack led us to believe his injuries might be life-threatening,” they said in an e-mail. “We also saw a significant blood trail leading away from the site.”
The trail led to the wall of a nearby convenience store, where the man was slumped against two women, later identified as his sister and her friend.
His wounds were “gruesome,” Judi and Chaney said, adding that the machete cut down to the bone and tendon and the man was bleeding heavily.
Drawing on his EMT training, Judi checked the man’s vital signs. Chaney borrowed a belt and shirt from a bystander and fashioned a tourniquet. Campbell called the police and asked the convenience store to call an ambulance, which arrived in 20 minutes.
The man was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery. Despite their captain’s praise, the three indicated they’d be just as happy skipping the personal recognition.
“People are not treating me any differently and I hope it remains that way,” Chaney said.
“We are just glad we were there to help this person, nothing more,” Campbell added.