As the South Korean Coast Guard prepares to take delivery of its second S-92 helicopter for the critical mission of Search and Rescue, Sikorsky today celebrated two Coast Guard crews with Winged-S Rescue Awards for lifesaving achievement and Search and Rescue response.
Just recently, on Feb. 27, the Korea Coast Guard performed a daytime mission five miles off the coast of South Korea. A crane accident caused severe injury and head trauma to a crew member on board a fishing boat. Two security patrol boats, a marine rescue team and an S-92 helicopter were dispatched. At the scene, rescuers determined that the S-92 helicopter would provide the most efficient life-saving transportation for the struggling victim. The patient was hoisted into the aircraft and safely transported to a nearby hospital where he is now recovering.
In a challenging night-time environment on June 29, 2015, an S-92 helicopter and Coast Guard crew rescued an injured fisherman who had severely lacerated a hand while hauling in his net. After evaluating its aerial fleet, the Coast Guard determined the S-92 was the most capable aircraft for the mission. It subsequently launched the S-92 helicopter, retrieved the wounded fisherman, and flew him to a hospital in time to save a nearly amputated extremity.
To recognize these lifesaving achievements, Sikorsky’s President Dan Schultz presented members of the South Korean Coast Guard with two prestigious Winged-S Rescue Awards. Beginning in 1950, the Winged-S Rescue Award Program is meant to honor all those who perform rescues flying a Sikorsky helicopter. Through this award, Sikorsky gratefully acknowledges the humanitarian efforts of all pilots and crewmembers that put themselves in harm's way to save others, fulfilling Igor Sikorsky's vision of the helicopter.
Just one month after delivery in 2014, the aircraft was called into action to help rescue survivors of the MV Sewol ferry, which capsized off the southern coast. During the rescue efforts, the Korean Coast Guard flew 220 missions with its S-92 helicopter, transporting rescue divers and material to the scene of the accident.
“The S-92 helicopter has performed exceptionally in every mission, and is very reliable,” said a Republic of Korea Coast Guard spokesperson. “During the difficult time of the ferry incident, we did not miss a single mission.”
Since then, the Korean Coast Guard has already saved 30 lives, flying search and rescue and emergency medical transport missions with the S-92.
Sikorsky’s President Dan Schultz also presented a framed photograph in front of the Coast Guard’s new S-92 aircraft. The inscription quoted Igor Sikorsky and reads, “Always remember that the reputation of an aircraft is not due to the manufacturer alone, but primarily to the men and women who fly that machine...the aircrews who demonstrate their skill and dedication on a daily basis around the world."
The second S-92 aircraft will officially be delivered later this year.