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Indian Navy chopper flies Covid-hit chief officer of Philippines merchant ship to safety

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Advance Light Helicopter from INS Garuda airlifting the chief officer of a foreign merchant ship (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@PRODefencePROkochi)

In a bold helicopter mission carried out in inclement weather, the Indian Navy airlifted the chief officer of a foreign merchant ship, who was in a critical state due to Covid-19 and flew him to a hospital in Kochi, according to information provided by the defence ministry on Wednesday.

At about 4 PM on Tuesday, the navy received a message from Coast Guard Headquarters regarding a suspected COVID-19 positive case of a Filipino male crew. The Merchant Vessel's (MV) local agent intimated that medical condition of the Chief Officer, Michel John Abaygar was severely deteriorating with depleting oxygen levels and required immediate medical evacuation.

An advanced helicopter was immediately launched from INS Garuda to undertake the Medical  Evacuation from on board Merchant Vessel MV Lyric Poet off Kochi. The ship was en route from Gibraltar to Machong.

The pilots of the helicopter displaying tremendous skill and professionalism successfully completed the mission in adverse weather conditions and ensured safe evacuation of the patient.

The patient was brought to INS Garuda and transferred to the Naval Hospital, INHS Sanjivini, for further medical assistance adhering to all COVID 19 protocols.

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