300 miles south of Iceland, a small 30’ foot Canadian yacht lost its mast in heavy North Atlantic seas. One of two sailors aboard the yacht had a broken leg and other injuries, and the boat was slowly taking on water. They activated an emergency beacon.
In South Carolina on the Fourth of July, a “slightly” intoxicated man was driving his ATV in the woods when he went over twelve foot creek bank and into the water. He pulled himself to the strip of sand at the edge of the creek bank, but could not move anymore.
In the North Atlantic a patrol plane flew out from Britain to locate the beacon. After the aircraft found the yacht. a fishing vessel 12-15 miles away, arrived on scene and took them into tow. Gale wind and sea conditions made getting the men off the yacht onto the fishing vessel impractical or impossible. Two US Air Force rescue helicopters and a refueling plane flew the 300 miles from Iceland picked up the men, and flew back to a hospital in Reykjavik. (More photos)
In South Carolina, our family was talking a lazy canoe trip down Sugar Creek, when we came to injured man just a few minutes after his accident. Help was summoned, and soon there was twenty or thirty volunteer firefighters and an EMT down by the creek. Steps were cut into the creek bank, a path was cleared out, and the man was taken out in the back of a volunteer firefighters pickup. On arriving at real paved roads, the man’s vital signs took a nose dive. A helicopter was called in, picked the man up, and flew him to a hospital in Charlotte.
I am amazed at the value of human life in “civilization”. The rescue in the North Atlantic had to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In South Carolina there was a whole horde of people working without pay to save lives, with a reasonably efficient communications system setup so that they could quickly be at problem situation and if needed quickly bring in expensive outside assets like a helicopter.
It’s an awesome thing.