Moffett Field: Air Rescue wing flying to aid sick baby


A Bay Area-based Air National Guard team left Moffett Federal Airfield Thursday afternoon on a rescue mission to help a seriously ill 1-year-old girl on a boat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico, according to California National Guard officials.

Members of the 129th Rescue Wing joined the rescue after a call Thursday morning, April 3, from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding a sick infant on board a 36-foot sailing vessel, the Rebel Heart, currently located around 900 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico, according to 2nd Lt. Roderick Bersamina.

Around 7 p.m. tonight, four members of the 129th are expected to parachute into the ocean from an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft to board the Rebel Heart and assist the little girl, Bersamina said.

The pararescuemen will help prepare the girl and in the morning they will help hoist her on to an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, which will fly her to a medical facility for treatment, Bersamina said.

The 129th Rescue Wing's primary mission is the recovery of personnel, and it has participated in a number of civilian rescues in the past. Bersamina said the unit has saved the lives of more than 1,000 people.

— Bay City News Service


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Posted by Soldiers Mom
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2014 at 10:56 pm

To reach this seriously ill child is an incredible involved mission that these highly trained, dedicated men and women of the129th Rescue Wing are embarking on. I hope they reach her in time. I hope they all come back safe and sound. God speed.

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Posted by Proud
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:55 am

You never hear about them generally, until you read a story like this. Hug your local Coastie!

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Posted by 99 percenter
a resident of another community
on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:59 am

While I feel for the ill child, I hope her family -- which sounds like they have material luxuries few have -- remember that come April 15 that the payment of taxes is the only way that such rescue could occur. Way to go 129th!

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Posted by NW Resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Apr 4, 2014 at 9:46 am

Kudos to Commander Butow and all who serve in the 129th Rescue Wing of the CA ANG. We are proud of you and your entire organization, Steve.

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Posted by JeffM
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 4, 2014 at 2:58 pm

99percenter seems to think that being out on a 36-foot sailboat equates to being quite rich. In fact, there are many, many ocean cruisers who live very frugally, perhaps live on their boats without owing an onshore residence, and who would be quite amused to be termed wealthy. Cruisers often take years to get ready to embark, and then sail to a destination where they can work for a while to save up for the next leg of the voyage.

In this case you can learn about the voyage of Rebel Heart and link to blogs at Web Link. You will see that this adventurous family are hardly plutocrats living in rare level of material luxuries.

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:22 pm

@99 percenter: It is truly sad that some people are so wrapped up in their politics that they have to turn even the story of a rescue of a sick child into their soapbox. In this case, it is a small boat. They are not in the "1%". To be honest the fact that you live in this area speaks to the fact that you are in a VERY high percent class yourself (certainly not part of the majority). Just sad.

Like this comment
Posted by Notalibertarian
a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Apr 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

I applaud the coast guard and their fine work.

It's actually not an issue of 1% or not. It's personal responsibility. These people should be presented a bill for the costs of the rescue. It's irresponsible to cross the ocean in a ship like this with a young child. It's the same principle for people who won't buy health insurance because "they don't get sick" and then show up at emergency rooms and we have to pick up the tab.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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