Wednesday, November 05, 2008
At quarter past seven yesterday evening, Falmouth Coastguard received an Inmarsat Standard C Distress alert from a Ukrainan registered cargo vessel called the Katya Zelenko. The Katya Zelenko was in a position 241 miles off the coast of Kenya. Falmouth Coastguard communicated with the vessel using their satellite communications and were able to ascertain that they had a sick crewman on board who needed immediate medical attention. Falmouth Coastguard made further investigations and ascertained from the Royal Navy Fleet Ops that HMS Northumberland was in a position 150 miles from the cargo vessel with a Merlin helicopter on the warship.Communications were made with the authorities and arrangements were made to land the sick crewman at Mombasa International Airport for further transport to a hospital. The crew from the helicopter were able to winch the man from the cargo ship and land him at Mombasa. The helicopter is from 829 Squadron based at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose and is currently serving with HMS Northumberland on operations. James Instance, Falmouth Coastguard said: We are pleased that the Coastguard and the Royal Navy could assist the cargo vessel in the evacuation of their injured crewman.