Phoenix sailor and radio amateur Timothy Henning, KE7WMZ, has expressed his gratitude to the Maritime Mobile Service Network (MMSN) for intercepting and handling his distress call on 14.300 MHz. Net control operator Harry Williams, W0LS, caught Henning’s call requesting assistance with an urgent medical condition on May 23. Henning, some 200 nautical miles south of Ensenada, Mexico, in his sailing vessel Victory Cat, reported that a severe vision problem had developed in his right eye, and he was seeking immediate medical attention and advice.
Williams contacted the US Coast Guard in Alameda, California, relaying all information concerning the medical problem and staying on the air with KE7WMZ for several hours. The Coast Guard, in turn, relayed the information to the on-duty flight surgeon who advised that Henning seek immediate medical attention at the closest port of call.
It was decided that Henning would continue on to Ensenada, and the Coast Guard arranged to have someone meet him there and transport him to the Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, while his wife stood by with the vessel at the dock.
Ultimately, it was determined that Henning had a detached retina, and he was transported to Phoenix for surgery.
“I appreciate, beyond words, that the Maritime Net was able to help us get in contact with the USCG and simply be at the other end of the HF radio, helping us through a challenging time,” Henning told the MMSN afterward. “I especially want to thank Harry, W0LS. He was extremely professional and invaluable in linking us effectively with the USCG. We were just completing our 10 years round-the-world sail voyage.”
The Maritime Mobile Service Net operates daily on 14.300 MHz from 1700 UTC to 0200 UTC. It is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
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