Members of the 38th Rescue Squadron saved the life of a man stranded in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend.
Airmen at Moody Air Force Base are trained to go into dangerous combat zones and pull American troops to safety, but recently they had to put their skills to work above the rough seas off the coast of Jacksonville.
"He had a sailboat and my understanding was he was out pleasure cruising for about a month and he had a malfunction and his boat, and was unable to control it, and was adrift for several days,” explains CPT Jeremey Turner, Rescue Helicopter Pilot.
That is until the Moody rescue crew came to help, finding the man and his boat within a few hours.
Senior Airman Thomas Pearce pulled the man to safety for his first ever rescue.
"We tried to stick to the actual training that we've done to keep it familiar, and it was actually very similar to the training we've done. Pretty textbook," Pearce shares.
It was anything but textbook for the rescued boater.
"His reaction, I think, was he's a little upset about losing his boat, but first of all, I'm sure he was a little groggy and tired so we made sure he was okay medically, made sure everything was okay, after that we kind of let him sleep for the long flight home,” claims Veteran Rescuer SSgt. Jeffrey Hedglin.
And while the unnamed boater got to enjoy a safe flight home, these airmen enjoyed the fact that they saved one of the Americans they work to protect during their service overseas.
The rescue crews say performing an actual rescue during their training time, helps keep them prepared for anything.