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Home : News
NEWS | March 23, 2007

Alaska Air National Guard aid injured British Sailor

By Capt. Allen Herritage Alaskan Command Public Affairs

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNEWS) - Airmen in Alaska came through for a wounded British Sailor March 21 when he was injured during a deadly explosion aboard the Royal Navy submarine HMS Tireless operating in Arctic waters north of Prudhoe Bay.

The submarine experienced an explosion of a self contained oxygen generation candle that killed two Sailors and injured the third late March 20 while conducting a joint U.S. United Kingdom exercise.

A civilian helicopter contracted by exercise organizers transported the injured Sailor from the scene to the town of Deadhorse, where an Alaska Air National Guard HC-130 aircraft from the 211th Rescue Squadron with pararescuemen aboard from the 212th Rescue Squadron evacuated the injured man.

The patient and a naval medical officer were transported to Kulis Air National Guard Base in Anchorage where an ambulance waited. They were immediately driven to a local civilian hospital for treatment.

The sailor was greeted by a familiar accent when British exchange officer, Wing Commander Geoff Yapp, assigned to Alaska NORAD Region's 611th Air Operations Squadron, met him at the hospital. As the senior British officer in the area, Commander Yapp was contacted while on leave and told of the incident. He quickly returned to Anchorage and met up with his countryman to help him sort out details such as travel home and communication with loved ones back in the United Kingdom.

The injured Sailor was eventually transported to the Elmendorf's hospital for treatment and to await travel home.