U.S. Coast Guard loads two severely injured earthquake victims for helicopter transport from Ofatma Hospital in Les Cayes to one of the hospitals in Port-au-Prince on August 17, 2021. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 3:14 PM PT – Friday, August 20, 2021
More U.S. Coast Guard personnel have been sent to Haiti to aid in medical evacuations following a devastating earthquake and subsequent hurricane. Footage on Friday showed Coast Guard rescue crews evacuating critically injured victims to hospitals in the region as the island nation has continued its search for survivors.
Reports said domestic rescue efforts had stalled due to impassable roads, leading to rescuers relying heavily on U.S. helicopter crews to evacuate residents.
“We’re proud but we’re also a little heartbroken about what we saw there, but there are some strong people there, there are compound fractures, so much trauma, and they would get in that helicopter and ride for an hour back to the hospital and they wouldn’t say a word,” said Michael Diglio, an aviation survival technician at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater.
U.S. Coast Guard officials said so far they have saved at least 83 people, airlifted hundreds out of danger zones and transported nearly seven tons of supplies since their arrival on Saturday.
U.S. Coast Guard transport an old man severely injured in the quake from the Ofatma hospital in Les Cayes to one of the hospitals in Port-au-Prince on August 17, 2021. (REGINALD LOUISSAINT JR/AFP via Getty Images)