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The 'Santa Maria' frigate provides medical assistance to the merchant ship 'Al-Thakhira' on waters of the Gulf of Aden

Gulf of Adén
July 6, 2020

·       After receiving a medical emergency warning, the spanish frigate helped out until the patient was disembarked, at the port of Salalah

The frigate 'Santa Maria', under the operational control of the Operations Command within Operation Atalanta, has provided medical assistance to the gas ship 'Al-Thakhira', which was sailing on waters of the IRTC (International Recognized Transit Corridor) of the Gulf of Aden, with a patient that felt into coma.

On Friday 3 July the ship warned through the Mercury radio system, reporting a medical emergency on board: A fellow crew member  was sick, requiring inmediate medical assistance. After analysing the situation, Atalanta's  Force Commander authorised frigate 'Santa María' to provide that medical assistance.

The frigate was about 80 miles from the merchant ship, which had already set course for Salalah, the nearest Omani port with a hospital where the injured person could be evacuated to hospital. After approaching the ship, the 'Santa Maria' sent a medical team, which found the patient in a coma and in very bad , conditions.  The medical team succeded on stabilize the patient . The distance to Oman made an air evacuation impossible at that time.

In the early morning, 50 miles from the port of Salalah, an Omani helicopter attempted an air evacuation but the weather conditions, the configuration of the gas tanker deck and the patient´s situation made the air rescue imposible, so the merchant ship followed its course to Oman.

Finally, when the merchant ship docked, the patient was transferred to a local hospital.

Once again, the Spanish Armed Forces have shown their commitment to make Oceans, a safer place.