The Westhampton Air National Guard responded to a deadly ship explosion off the coast of Cape Cod Monday armed with medical supplies donated by Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.
The 106th Rescue Wing coordinated with the U.S., Canadian and Portuguese coast guards to provide emergency medical response for crew members aboard the shipping vessel.
“PBMC is deeply honored to assist the work of the 106th Rescue Wing and wish all involved Godspeed in this extensive, life saving mission,” said Danton Kerz, director of PBMC emergency management.
Hospital president and CEO Andy Mitchell said donated supplies included IV medications and tubing.
At approximately 7 a.m. Monday, the captain of the Marshall Islands-flagged 623-foot bulk carrier Tamar contacted the Coast Guard command center to report an explosion in the ship’s forward storeroom, according to a U.S. Coast Guard press release.
Two people died in the explosion and two more suffered “massive burns in need of immediate medical attention,” according to the Coast Guard.
The 106th Rescue Wing launched a helicopter crew with six pararescuers and one combat rescue officer to provide treatment for the ship’s crew members Monday. They reportedly jumped with a small boat, advanced life-saving equipment and the donated medical supplies.
The cause of the explosion was unknown, the Coast Guard said Monday, and the ship’s engineering plant was not damaged.
The crew of the Tamar will continue en route to The Azores, an island region of Portugal, the Coast Guard said.
Homepage caption: The shipping vessel Tamar in an undated photo. (Credit: Splosna Plovba)