In a swift coordinated operation, a medical evacuation on the high seas was undertaken by Headquarters Southern Naval Command (SNC) on September 28, 2021 using Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), from Merchant Vessel MV Lyric Poet off Kochi.
At about 4 PM on September 28, 2021, SNC received an input regarding suspected COVID-19 positive case of a Phillipino male crew from Coast Guard Headquarters. The Merchant Vessel's (MV) local agent intimated that medical condition of the Chief Officer, Michel John Abaygar was severely deteriorating with depleting oxygen levels and required immediate medical evacuation. An ALH was immediately launched from INS Garuda to undertake the Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) from onboard the MV which was enroute from Gibraltor to Machong. The pilots of the helicopter displaying tremendous skill and professionalism successfully completed the mission in adverse weather conditions and ensured safe evacuation of the patient.
The patient was brought to INS Garuda and transferred to the Naval Hospital, INHS Sanjivini, for further medical assistance adhering to all COVID 19 protocols.