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USNS Comfort Rescues Fisherman From Rough Atlantic Seas

Washington D.C. (USTCNS) --- Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort rescued a man yesterday whose boat had capsized and broken apart in rough seas off of Bermuda. Comfort responded quickly just two days after deploying from Baltimore for possible use in support of the President's war on terrorism.

Comfort responded to the call for assistance issued by the
U.S. Coast Guard Response Coordination Center in Bermuda at 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 7. At 10:49 a.m. on Jan. 8, a Coast Guard C-130 airplane located a victim in the water and air-dropped a life raft and survival gear. The aircraft was not equipped to recover the victim from the water at that time.

Comfort quickly changed course to locate the man. The
ship's crew spotted the man in the water and lifted him aboard later that afternoon, despite 12-to-15 foot seas.

"The ship's deck department performed admirably, in
cooperation with the Coast Guard to complete the shipboard recovery of the victim," said Comfort's Second Mate David Lieberman.

"The man, Robert Lambe, 35, of Bermuda, was treated for
minor hypothermia by the staff of the Navy Medical Treatment Facility embarked aboard the ship and is said to be in good condition," said Petty Officer Second Class Ellen Maurer, USN, of Comfort's public affairs office.

Lambe and two other men were apparently fishing when their
40-foot boat sank in heavy seas. The other two victims, whose names have not been released, remain missing.

USNS Comfort is one of the Navy's two hospital ships. Each
ship is essentially a fully-functional afloat trauma center capable of providing support in wartime and during humanitarian medical operations. Comfort is crewed by 61 civilian mariners from the Navy's Military Sealift Command, and the embarked Medical Treatment Facility can be staffed by up to approximately 1,200 medical personnel from the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

The 1,000-bed hospital ship was sailing to an undisclosed
location with a staff of about 300 Navy medical and support personnel, as well as its crew of civilian mariners when the distress call came.

Military Sealift Command, the ocean transportation provider
for the Department of Defense, operates about 120 civilian-crewed, noncombatant active ships around the world. MSC ship missions vary from the transport and afloat prepositioning of defense cargo to underway replenishment and other direct support to Navy ships at sea and at-sea data collection for the U.S. military and other U.S. government agencies.

Office of Public Affairs - transcom-pa@mail.mil
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