ANNAPOLIS, MD – On Friday, April 12 at approximately 12:46 p.m., personnel from the Maryland State Police Aviation Command (MSPAC) received a request from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department requesting a helicopter to assist them with the extraction of a medical patient from a cargo ship. Anne Arundel County Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard rescue boats were alongside the cargo ship “Capri,” but were unable to safely transfer the patient into either of their rescue boats.

Trooper 7, the Aviation Command’s helicopter stationed at Saint Mary’s County Airport, was immediately dispatched. The crew arrived on scene and located the cargo vessel “Capri” anchored in the Chesapeake Bay, south of the Bay Bridge. Anne Arundel County Fire Department’s HEAT team members were on board the cargo ship “Capri” and communicated their concerns to the crew of Trooper 7. Together it was determined an aerial hoist would be the most efficient and safest way of extracting the patient and transporting to appropriate medical care.

The crew from Trooper 7 positioned the helicopter in a steady hover overhead the cargo ship “Capri.” Quickly and efficiently, the crew lowered the rescue basket onto the ship. The HEAT team members secured the patient in the basket. Trooper 7 then hoisted the patient up to the aircraft. The entire evolution lasted only ten minutes from lowering the basket to securing the patient inside the aircraft. Due to the severe nature of the patient’s illness, a remote landing zone was set up at the United States Coast Guard Station Annapolis. Trooper 7 landed and transferred patient care over to ground EMS personnel.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten helicopters from seven bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis. Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment. The success of rescues, such as this, performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the United States Coast Guard.