An Australian Army Black Hawk helicopter evacuated two seriously ill East Timorese nationals from an island off the coast of Dili last night for urgent medical attention.
The Black Hawk, operated by the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force (ISF) in East Timor, responded to a request from the United Nations to use its night-flying capability to evacuate two patients from Atauro Island, approximately 25km north of Dili.
A 26 year old female was suffering an obstructed labour, requiring a caesarean section, and an 18 year old male was diagnosed with advanced appendicitis.
The crew of the Black Hawk, with an ISF medical team onboard, transferred the patients to the mainland where they were taken by ambulance to the Dili National Hospital.
ISF Commander Colonel Luke Foster said the ISF was ready and able to respond to urgent calls for assistance. “I am very pleased the transfer operation went well,” Colonel Foster said. “Our Black Hawk pilots and crews are highly-professional and experienced in night flying and I commend their actions.”