'SUPERMEN' TO THE RESCUE sacrifices made both by my friends and by those involved in my rescue." With any luck he'll soon be back out on the waters of Puget Sound again, racing his trophy-winning Jesperson 30 Myrrh. Wind Child, by the way, continued on to the Marquesas and completed her 21day crossing by making landfall at Hiva Oa's Atuona Bay.
USAF / USMC
and baggage." Once aboard the liferaft, Kalahar and his caregivers were pulled alongside the massive, red-hulled ship, and the patient was hauled aboard on a stretcher. "With very mixed feelings, we said farewell to our injured crewman," wrote Taylor, ". . . We will miss his good humor and sailing skills as we resume our lonely ocean passage to French Polynesia." Thankfully, Kalahar remained stable during the ride toward the Mexican coast. On April 4, when the ship was roughly 650 miles off the Baja coast, she was met by an aerial entourage of two HH-60F Pave Hawk helicopters, accompanied by two Marine Corps planes: a 130P Combat Shadow, and a KC-130J Super Hercules tanker used to refuel the helos en route. By late that evening, Kalahar was safely transferred to a San Diego hospital, where specialists attended to his injuries, and family members, who'd driven down from Washington, comforted him. At this writing, he is home convalescing, and, in his words, "on a steady path to
Look very closely and you'll see a small dark shape directly beneath the helo. That's a PJ making his exit — all in a day's work!
recovery. "Each day," he says, "I am thankful for all of the goodwill, support, and
ll in all, this multi-phase rescue was an astonishing effort by a highly efficient network of dedicated professionals. As Heessels' wife Jean put it, "The Ham Radio Operators, Coast Guard, California Air National Guard, and AMVER Cap Palmerston accomplished something many of us never understood was possible. The three and a half days it took to get Michael to the hospital have been ones during which we've learned so much — about resources, skills and experience acquired by individuals, and human spirit and willingness to help. We are so grateful to all the angels!" — latitude/andy
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Harbor Master – Pat Lopez • email@example.com Page 102 •
• May, 2010
The May 2010 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.