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Air Guard rescues man bitten by shark

Published: 
Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A 50-year-old Venezuelan fisherman remains warded at hospital after sustaining serious injuries in a shark attack off the coast of Trinidad on Friday. The fisherman, Simon Tormes, was airlifted from his vessel by an Air Guard helicopter flown by capt Tim Lort and flying officer Lynesha Hannaway. According to a release from Defence Force civil military affairs officer, major Al Alexander, the Air Guard officers were contacted at 2.30 pm on Friday after their counterparts in the Coast Guard received a distress call from the fisherman’s vessel, Mariscal Sucre, that a crew on board was bitten by a shark while fishing. 

The officers flew to the vessel’s location, approximately 195 nautical miles east of Trinidad, stabilised the fisherman and then flew him to the San Fernando General Hospital where he remains warded. Alexander said such medical evacuations (MEDEVAC) were within the remit of the Air Guard. The Air Guard has four AW 139 helicopters capable of performing medical evacuations, fire-fighting, search and rescue and intelligence-gathering operations, Alexander said. Senior aircraftman Anson Bernard and Sgt Garvin King were also involved in the operation.