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Flare turns HSC training exercise into real rescue

Island Knights pic

A training exercise carried out by the Island Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC)-25, a Navy squadron stationed aboard Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, turned into a real-life rescue after a flare was spotted.

The Island Knights, in its first mission of 2017, helped the crew of two small vessels in distress off the coast of Guam, a US island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific.

A distress flare was first spotted by HSC-25 aircrew members when out on a training exercise. Two MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters were then dispatched to find the source of the flare.

Using their infrared cameras and night vision goggles, crew spotted both boats around 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Cetti Bay. The boats were without power in 10-12-foot high waves.

The Island Knights marked their location and waited for Guam Fire and Rescue to arrive.

Last year, HSC-25 aided the US Coast Guard and Guam Fire and Rescue in more than 60 SAR missions throughout the Northern Mariana Islands.

The image is a FLIR thermal imaging photo of two stranded fishing boats from one of the cameras mounted aboard an MH-60S helicopter assigned to the Island Knights of HSC-25. It is a U.S. Navy photo by LTJG Chris Kimbrough).

Feb 27, 2017