A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter made an emergency landing at Dillingham Airfield Sunday morning.
The response to a call for a medical evacuation on board a container ship at 8:30 p.m. Friday was slightly delayed after the helicopter encountered some issues mid-flight.
The crew was getting ready to pick up a 31-year-old crewman with severe abdominal pains from the Portuguese “Kachidoki Bridge” when the issue came up.
The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter left Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point at 10 a.m. Sunday and was headed to the ship about 35 miles off the north coast of Oahu. After successfully lowering the Coast Guard rescue swimmer onto the container ship, the helicopter suffered a tail gearbox malfunction.
A second helicopter was then launched from Barbers Point to assist the ship while the first chopper turned around and headed back to land.
After the emergency landing at Dillingham Field, the necessary repairs were made.
Carolyn Sandison was about to take flight herself when she notice the chopper landing. “It was a little bit unusual to see the Coast Guard helicopter land out here during the daytime. … At the same time, there was an ambulance, a fire truck, and several police cars. I thought maybe a skydiver had gotten hurt or something.”
The second helicopter completed the medical evacuation and the patient was taken to Queen’s Medical Center.
Skydive Hawaii said they had to delay their jumps for 20-30 minutes because of the emergency landing.