U.S. Coast Guard HC-144A makes valiant rescue
April 16, 2013, Washington, D.C. - Airbus Military was delighted to see one of its aircraft play a key role in the location and rescue of four people, including Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Adam Kreek, in the Atlantic Ocean north of Puerto Rico.
On April 7, a rogue wave struck the boat carrying the four endurance rowers, which capsized more than 600 kilometres north of Puerto Rico. The four, including Kreek, had been attempting to row across the Atlantic Ocean in a project with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. A United States Coast Guard HC-144A, produced by Airbus Military, was first on the scene to locate them and provide supplies.
“We are very happy to see that these four athletes were rescued safe and sound. The ocean is a very large and hazardous place, and rapid detection is of the essence in locating casualties such as these,” said Pedro Mas, head of Airbus Military in Canada. “This reinforces the value of an aircraft that has a modern mission system that is best able to locate those in distress, even in adverse conditions. For search and rescue, governments want a proven, reliable and low-risk solution. Our aircraft have a demonstrated reputation of being just that.”
The HC-144A Ocean Sentry, known elsewhere as the CN235, is a smaller variant of Airbus Military’s C295, which is a contender for replacing Canada’s aging fleet of search and rescue aircraft. Airbus Military is the industry leader in military search and rescue, with more 279 CN235s and 121 C295s delivered or on order. Its aircraft are in operation throughout the world, operated in, among other places, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
In February, the USCG exercised an option to purchase additional HC-144As, bringing the fleet size to 18 of a planned 36.
“The U.S. Coast Guard maintains their trust in the aircraft to provide reliable and effective search and rescue at good value to the taxpayers. We are proud that, like the USCG, so many of our customers become repeat buyers,” continued Mas. “There’s no better testament to the value and usefulness of a product than customers continued willingness to buy more.”