It took dedication to take on a mission where Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Carroll said that everything that could go wrong... did.
His Coast Guard rescue team was looking for 4 hikers in complete darkness, just after midnight in a remote and rugged area of the Na Pali coast on Kauai last August.
"The pilot who was at the throttle was gearing revolution, he actually went vertigo, he lost his situational awareness, he had no idea where he was at. So the co-pilot had to take over the controls. That's because there was no illumination out there", Carroll recalled.
But his team continued on - searching for 29 year old Zachary Rose who had fallen 50 feet along the Kalalau Trail .
Chief Carroll says the helicopter dropped him into an area that was extremely steep and it was risky for him and the hiker. He used his training as an aviation survival tech to maneuver down, unhook and then perform CPR for 30 minutes, hoping to revive Rose while his 3 friends waited on a higher ledge.
At that point, the helicopter ran out of fuel.
"That was a heart wrenching experience as well. I'm on the side of the mountain with a guy who is basically deceased and his 3 buddies and everybody is asking questions, 'What are we going to do? What are we going to do?'"
Chief Carroll couldn't do anything more for Rose who died from his injuries, but he eventually helped medivac one of the injured hikers to safety, and sent help for the remaining guys who were distraught and dehydrated. He says he couldn't have done it alone.
"I got to give it up to my crew because without them I wouldn't have been on the side of that mountain, being nominated for this award."
And for that Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Carroll is the Red Cross "In the Line of Duty" hero of the year.
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