The U.S. Navy’s new stealth destroyer, the Zumwalt, rescued a fisherman who was experiencing chest pains off the coast of Maine early Saturday morning. The crew of the Zumwalt was assisted by a chopper from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The 600-foot-long, 15,000-ton warship is the largest destroyer ever built for the Navy. It was out doing sea trials when around 3 a.m., Coast Guard officials received a distress call from a fishing boat, saying its 46-year-old captain, Dale Sparrow, was having a medical emergency in the form of chest pains and needed immediate medical help. The fishing boat, named the Danny Boy, was 40 nautical miles south of Portland at the time.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter took off from Air Station Cape Cod to respond to the distress signal, but the crew of the chopper determined it was too risky to try to hoist the captain off because of the deck configuration of the small fishing boat, and they requested assistance from any vessels in the area. In response, the Zumwalt sent over a small crew in an inflatable raft and transported the captain to the deck of the destroyer. There, a Coast Guard chopper was able to airlift him to Portland International Jetport, and then to a hospital.
“Our main concern with this type of medical emergency is to recover the patient safely and transport them to a higher level of care as quickly as possible,” Lt. David Bourbeau was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail. “Fortunately, the Zumwalt was operating in the area and was able to provide valuable assistance.”
Captain Sparrow of the Danny Boy is now recovering at the Maine Medical Center and is in stable condition. The Zumwalt is incidentally under the command of Navy Captain James Kirk, as the official Star Trek website noted.
“After medical evaluation, the patient was transferred from Zumwalt to a Coast Guard helicopter and then to an area hospital,” a Navy spokeswoman, Capt. Thurraya Kent, said to the Portland Press Herald.
In addition to being the Navy’s largest, the $4.3 billion stealth destroyer is also the most technologically advanced and the first surface warship to have all-electric propulsion. It was meant to be the first in a new class of stealth destroyers. Fox Newsnoted the revolutionary design of the future USS Zumwalt.
“The ship has electric propulsion, new radar and sonar, powerful missiles and guns, and a stealthy design to reduce its radar signature. Advanced automation will allow the warship to operate with a much smaller crew size than current destroyers.”
The Zumwalt was built at Bath Iron Works and just headed out to sea for the first time earlier this week on Monday as reported by the Inquisitr. It was doing sea drills to test its hull and mechanical systems when it received the call for help.
“General Dynamics Bath Iron Works is incredibly proud of the work its men and women did alongside the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to rescue a fisherman in distress,” BIW spokesman Matt Wickenheiser further stated to the Portland Press Herald. “Their actions reflected the highest values of our company. Following the rescue, BIW, the Navy and other Naval contractors returned to the task at hand, running sea trials for DDG 1000, the future USS Zumwalt.”
Bath Iron Works will continue to test the performance of the ship and make improvements. The Zumwalt is set to be delivered to the Navy sometime next year.
[Photo by U.S. Navy/General Dynamics Bath Iron Works via Getty Images]