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Entries in Rescue (25)

Monday
Jan142013

US Forces Involved with Failed Somalia Hostage Rescue

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama divulged on Sunday that the U.S. military played a role in a botched attempt by French commandos to free a hostage in Somalia last Friday.

In a letter to Congress released on Sunday evening, the president said service members “provided limited technical support” in the raid -- likely referring to intelligence or surveillance assistance -- although he denied the forces took direct action in the assault on the compound. 

The NATO member state was attempting to free a French intelligence agent that had been captured by Islamic militant group al-Shabab three years ago.

The hostage and at least once French soldier died in the ensuing firefight, which also killed a reported 17 militants, according to the French government.

Al-Shabab claims the French agent is still in their custody along with a soldier from the raid, but has offered no proof.

In his letter to Congress alerting them to his deployment of U.S. forces, Obama also wrote that U.S. aircraft “briefly entered Somali airspace to support the rescue operation, if needed,” but did not deploy weapons.  The letter does not state whether the aircraft were manned planes or drone vehicles.

The news came as France expands military operations in another African state, sending warplanes into northern Mali to bomb al Qaeda-linked rebels.

A Twitter posting from the office of Mali’s president states the United States has agreed to offer logistical support in that country, although American officials have not announced specifics.  The Pentagon has reportedly said it is still weighing options in the West African state, which already sees American surveillance drones in its airspace.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan082013

This Is Nuts: British Firemen Rush to Help Stranded Squirrel

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A squirrel in England is once again bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, thanks to the efforts of more than a dozen first responders.

The Daily Mail reports the rodent accidentally slipped into a frigid pond in the town of Watford in the U.K. on Sunday, but the animal was unable to scramble back onto a stone outcropping to safety.  Instead, it became marooned on a small island where a passerby spotted it, and called emergency services.

Soon, two fire trucks and two other emergency vehicles raced to the scene, and firemen lowered ladders down into the water and onto the rodent's rocky refuge.  The squirrel quickly scampered up the ladders to safety.

While some criticized the fire department's response as excessive, representatives say having professionals respond and solve the situation in 20 minutes was safer than having a concerned civilian launch his or her own rescue attempt.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan022013

Prince William Spends New Year's Morning in Daring Rescue Effort

Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- While the rest of the world was ringing in 2013, the heir to the British throne was trying to rescue a man who had been swept out to sea in northwest England.

It was just 15 minutes after midnight in England when the call came in that an unnamed 41-year-old man walking his dog on a pier had been swept into the sea.  Prince William, a helicopter search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, was in the air within a minute, battling 50 mile per hour winds during the 90-minute hunt.

The future king gave up personal time with his pregnant wife, who was, at that moment, celebrating New Years with her family.

The rescue effort failed, however, and the coast guard has called off its search.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug242012

Stranded Hippo Dies in Pool Just Before Rescue

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JOHANNESBURG) -- People in South Africa were expecting to cheer the rescue Friday morning of a young hippopotamus named “Solly” that was stuck for four days at the bottom of a swimming pool, but instead they were disappointed to learn that the hippo died before he could be saved.

“It’s devastating,” Monate Conservation Lodge manager Ruby Ferreira told the The Times newspaper.  “He was not as perky this morning, more agitated, like he was irritated.”

Ferreira and staff at the private game lodge north of Johannesburg had been watching over Solly, a 4-year-old bull, since Tuesday when they say he wandered onto their property after being chased away from his herd by older bulls.

When Solly stepped into the 8-foot deep pool for a swim, it was too deep for him to get back out.  A team of conservationists and veterinarians drained the pool enough to allow Solly to stand, and pictures and video of the stranded hippo made headlines across the country.  The game park received offers from a business and members of the public to help pay for the rescue.

“One man called to say his daughter wouldn’t sleep until I listened to her plan to save the hippo,” rescue volunteer Andre Snyman from Eblockwatch told reporters.

Solly was expected to be tranquilized and lifted from the pool with a crane Friday morning, but Ferreira said he died shortly before the veterinarians arrived to begin the rescue operation.  Ferreira believes the animal was dealing with mounting stress levels and gave up after being stranded in an unnatural environment for too long.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Prince William Rescues Injured Hiker in Wales

Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images(ANGLESEY, Wales) -- While the world is abuzz over Prince Harry's partying naked in Las Vegas, his older brother, Prince William, is making headlines of his own, with his clothes fully on.

The 30-year-old Duke of Cambridge, who serves as a search-and-rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF), completed his second rescue in four days Monday when he helped pull an injured Canadian hiker from the coast of Anglesey, Wales.

Darlene Burton, 58, of Barrie, Ontario, was completing a 10-day hike around the island of Anglesey when she slipped on a rock and broke her left leg, Canada's Globe and Mail reported.

Her husband, Lawrence Oakley, flagged down a local fisherman who called for help but the paramedics who responded to the scene were not able to help her, he told the paper.

Paramedics called in the RAF to help and Prince William piloted the RAF Sea King helicopter to the rescue.

"They all know up here that that's his job," Oakley told the Globe and Mail by phone from the hospital in Bangor where Burton was taken. "He assisted in helping Darlene when they moved the stretcher out [of the helicopter]."

Burton underwent surgery to repair multiple fractures to her leg, Oakley told the paper.

William piloted a rescue mission last Thursday to save a 16-year-old girl who had been swept out to sea off the coast of Silver Bay in Anglesey. The girl and her 13-year-old sister had been body-boarding in the water when they were caught on a riptide. The older girl remained stranded in the water until an RAF rescue helicopter captained by the prince came to her rescue and pulled her safely to shore.

Prince William became an RAF search-and-rescue captain in May. His No. 22 Squadron is based in Anglesey, close to where the rescues took place and where he and wife, Kate Middleton, have set up home.

William was forced to miss the Closing Ceremony of the London Olympics earlier this month, leaving his wife and Prince Harry to fulfill his official role, because of his RAF duties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

US Navy Rescues 10 from Burning Iranian Ship

Archival Photograph. AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A U.S. Navy destroyer has rescued 10 sailors from an Iranian-flagged vessel that was on fire in the Gulf of Oman.

The guided missile destroyer USS James E. Williams came upon the Iranian-flagged dhow as it burned on Wednesday night. The 10 on board were picked up out of the water by the crew of the destroyer.

A Defense official says eight of the 10 are Iranian; the other two are Pakistanis.

According to a Navy press release the crew members, “are being well cared for, receiving medical treatment and awaiting transport to aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.”

Commander Jason Salata, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, said they will be transported Thursday morning to the Enterprise and will be repatriated from there. "Our intent is to take care of them and send them [home],” said Salata.

With its ships constantly deployed to the waters of the Middle East, it’s not uncommon for U.S. Navy ships to rescue mariners in distress whatever their nationality.

The Navy’s rescue of 13 Iranian mariners in January made international headlines because it occurred shortly after an Iranian general had warned the U.S. Navy not to send an aircraft carrier back to the Persian Gulf.

The destroyer USS Kidd had rescued the Iranian mariners from their fishing boat, which had been hijacked by Somali pirates for more than a month and converted into a pirate mother ship. Fifteen Somali pirates were taken into custody and the grateful Iranian crew was repatriated to Iran.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Antarctic Medical Rescue Mission Poised for Break in Weather

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An Australian medical team is poised to dash into Antarctica to help rescue an expeditioner from the United States' McMurdo Research Station who is suffering a medical emergency.

The rescue team is looking for a break in the harsh Antarctic weather.

The Australian Antarctic Division was asked to assist in the rescue and is providing its A319 Airbus and a medical team to help, the Australian government division said in a statement.

The U.S.'s National Science Foundation (NSF) is coordinating the operation, but remaining mum on most of the details.

NSF spokeswoman Debbie Wing told ABC News that privacy issues prevent the foundation from revealing the patient's name, gender, age or illness. Wing could only say that the patient is in "stable condition" and receiving treatment at the base.

Wing could not confirm that the patient is American, bus she is assuming that he or she is American.

The Australian team is positioned in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is waiting for weather and light conditions to allow them to make the dangerous trip to the bottom of the world.

Antarctica is in the midst of its six months of winter when it is dark 24 hours a day, making the flight very risky. Wing predicted that the rescue flight will not happen until the end of this week, weather conditions permitting.

A live webcam positioned at McMurdo showed that it was 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill today. McMurdo is about 2,415 miles south of Christchurch and about 850 miles north of the South Pole.

"All nations work together very cooperatively in these sorts of emergency situations in Antarctica to provide support when and as required," Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr. Tony Fleming said in a statement.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Antarctic Medical Rescue Mission Underway

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An Australian medical team is attempting to make its way to Antarctica to help rescue an expedition member from the United States' McMurdo Research Station who is suffering a medical emergency.

The Australian Antarctic Division was asked to assist in the rescue and is providing its A319 Airbus and a medical team to help, the Australian government division said in a statement.

The rescue team had been waiting for a break in the harsh Antarctic weather to make the risky trip. The team's plane left Christchurch, New Zealand this evening and is on its way to McMurdo Station, according to the Australian Antarctic Division.

The U.S.'s National Science Foundation (NSF) is coordinating the operation, but remaining mum on most of the details.

NSF spokeswoman Debbie Wing told ABC News that privacy issues prevent the foundation from revealing the patient's name, gender, age or illness.

"The patient's condition may require treatment beyond what can be provided at the station's medical facility," the NSF said in statement.

The NSF said the patient is currently in stable condition, but the McMurdo medical facility is, "equivalent to an urgent-care center in the U.S., and is not equipped for the type of procedure being contemplated."

Wing could not confirm that the patient is American, but said she is assuming that he or she is American.

The Australian team was positioned in Christchurch, New Zealand, and had been waiting for weather and lighting conditions to allow them to make the dangerous trip to the bottom of the world.

Antarctica is in the middle of its six-month winter. It is now dark at McMurdo except for a brief period of twilight at midday, making the flight very risky. Wing predicted that the rescue flight will not happen until the end of this week, weather conditions permitting.

A live webcam positioned at McMurdo showed that it was 30 degrees below zero Wednesday. McMurdo is about 2,415 miles south of Christchurch and about 850 miles from the South Pole.

"All nations work together very cooperatively in these sorts of emergency situations in Antarctica to provide support when and as required," Australian Antarctic Division Director Dr. Tony Fleming said in a statement.

This risky rescue will not be the first of its kind.

In October 2011, an American researcher who suffered from a suspected stroke was rescued from the pole by the U.S. Air Force. And in two separate incidents in 2010, New Zealand helped two Americans get out of McMurdo due to illnesses.

The most famous rescue was of Dr. Jerri Nielsen in 1999. Nielsen, the doctor at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Station, diagnosed herself as having breast cancer after she found a lump. She treated herself with chemotherapy agents delivered by parachute from the U.S. Air Force until she was rescued. She even performed her own biopsy procedure.

After her rescue, she was treated and her cancer went into remission, but it returned in 2005. Nielsen died in 2009 at the age of 57.

Copyright 2012 ABC News

Tuesday
Feb072012

Search Continues for Philippines Quake Survivors

Hemera/Thinkstock(MANILA, Philippines) -- Rescue teams were out again Tuesday in central Philippines, searching for survivors of the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that struck the region the day before.

At least 71 people have been reported missing after Monday's tremor, which left 22 people dead and 52 others injured, according to the country's National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The earthquake hit Negros Island just before noon, damaging roads and triggering landslides that flattened homes.

Search crews have been scouring the area for any signs of life, while operations are underway to get water and food to remote villages.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan262012

Somalia SEAL Rescue: American's Kidnapping Intentionally Kept Quiet

Poul Hagen Thisted (L) and Jessica Buchanan (R). Danish Refugee Council(NEW YORK) -- A friend of an aid worker rescued by Navy SEALs in Somalia said that it was important to keep the woman's three-month captivity quiet so her captors would not ask for more money and put her at further risk.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and 60-year-old Dutch colleague Poul Hagen Thisted were rescued early Wednesday by SEAL Team 6 -- the same group involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden last spring -- in a daring mission at a remote encampment deep in northern Somalia.

Christina Scolforo, a close friend of Buchanan, says that her abduction was intentionally kept from the media.

"We didn't want them to get media hype that would cause them to think that she was worth more, and they would want more of a ransom, and then it would prolong the time that she was captive, so a lot of it was hush," Scolforo said.

Bachanan's immediate family is now meeting with her at a U.S. military base in Sicily, Italy, members of the woman's extended family told ABC News.

"She says she feels safe for the first time in 93 days. The men that risked their lives...I just can't say enough so I really, really appreciate it," Dave Buchanan, Jessica's uncle said.

Buchanan and Thisted, who worked with the Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group, were abducted on Oct. 25, 2011 by a group of Somali bandits and held for ransom.

At approximately 1:40 a.m. Wednesday local time -- 5:40 p.m. Tuesday Eastern Time -- SEAL Team 6 was aboard a specially equipped C-130 moving rapidly towards where Buchanan and Thisted were being held.  One by one, the SEALs hurled themselves out of the plane, parachuting silently to within a few miles of the hideout, then hiking to the enemy encampment in pitch darkness, with armed pirates everywhere.

Within minutes of arriving at the target area, gunfire erupted from the kidnappers, but the SEALs quickly killed all nine of the heavily armed men.  By approximately 2:30 a.m. local time, the hostages -- now in U.S. hands -- were moved on board Black Hawk helicopters and headed for Djibouti.

In a statement Wednesday, Buchanan's family said they were, "very grateful that Jessica has been rescued.  This has been just an unbelievable answer to prayers and we are so grateful for the work of the president, the Navy SEALs and the State Department."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio