New stealth destroyer helps rescue Maine fisherman

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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The U.S. Navy's new stealth destroyer, the future USS Zumwalt, assisted in the rescue of a fisherman who had a medical emergency early Saturday off the Maine coast, officials said.

The 600-foot, 15,000-ton Zumwalt — the largest destroyer ever built for the Navy — was out for sea trials when Coast Guard officials received a distress call from the fishing boat Danny Boy around 3 a.m. The distress call said the Danny Boy's captain was suffering from chest pains about 40 miles southeast of Portland, according to officials.

A Jayhawk helicopter responded from Air Station Cape Cod, but the crew determined it would be too dangerous to hoist the fisherman up due to the configuration of the fishing boat's deck.

A crew and small boat from the Zumwalt transferred the man to the destroyer's deck, officials said. The helicopter crew then hoisted the patient on board and transported him to shore, where he was taken to a hospital.

"Our main concern with this type of medical emergency is to recover the patient safely and transport them to a higher level care as quickly as possible," said Lt. David Bourbeau, public affairs officer at Sector Northern New England. "Fortunately the Zumwalt was operating in the area and was able to provide valuable assistance."

The Zumwalt left Bath Iron Works for sea trials on Monday.

Bath Iron Works will be testing the ship's performance and making tweaks this winter. The goal is to deliver it to the Navy sometime next year.

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