NASSAU, Bahamas – On Friday, November 2, the U.S. Coast Guard assisted the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with a flight to the Family Islands to access the damage left by Tropical Storm Noel.
Carl Smith, Director of NEMA and Kent Minnis, Photo-editor from the Bahamas Information Services, flew in a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter attached to Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) for an aerial assessment of the damage.
This assessment will assist the Bahamian government in identifying requirements for additional emergency assistance to stricken areas.
In the course of the flights over the islands of Great Exuma, Long Island and Eleuthera, Bahamian officials on Long Island requested flight support for the medical evacuation of a 50-year old man who suffered from kidney failure, and whose evacuation was hampered by flooded streets throughout Long Island. Recognizing the urgency of the case, the U.S. Coast Guard responded immediately as OPBAT diverted an airborne AUTEC HH-60 helicopter to Long Island. The helicopter safely hoisted the patient onboard and flew him to the Lynden Pindling International Airport for transport to a local hospital.
As Tropical Storm Noel moved toward Eleuthera later on October 31, the Bahamas Port Department contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and requested assistance to medevac three residents to New Providence who had sustained serious injuries in a car wreck.
Due to the threat of the storm, commercial aircraft and the Royal Bahamas Defense Force were unable to offer assistance. With just two hours of preparations, the U.S. Coast Guard launched a Falcon jet from Miami, Florida, to transport the injured persons from Eleuthera to Nassau for treatment at Doctor’s Hospital.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) provided extensive assistance throughout the region following Tropical Storm Noel.
In the Dominican Republic, where Tropical Storm Noel took the lives of more than 80 Dominicans, USCG air crews saved 54 lives and distributed over 30,000 rations of food, over 75,000 rations of water, 30 boxes of blankets and 5,000 personal hygiene items to storm victims.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been providing humanitarian relief and search and rescue assistance in the Dominican Republic at the request of the country’s president.