BTW--The legendary helicopter rescue swimmer
before the US Coast Guard had any Helicopter Rescue Swimmers.
The official U.S. Coast Guard, Seventeenth District, M/V Prinsendam Afire Gulf of Alaska; SAR Case Study, 3 February 1981 Prinsendam Case had several favorable findings or perhaps recommendations pertaining to the Air Force and specifically the acts and deeds of the two pararecuemen who found themselves on lifeboat No. 6.
Rear Admiral Robert J. Knapp, U.S. Coast Guard District 17 Commander in his signed cover letter for this study makes the following comments:
"The training and expertise of the Air Force pararescuemen was responsible for the survival of passengers in the last lifeboat. It is notable that we were forced to rely on another agency to provide these personnel. I recommend we develop a similar, trained, well equipped rescue elite."
"Because of inflight refueling capabilities, the U.S Air Force H-3 helicopter was able to remain airborne for eleven continuous hours. Had this incident been further at sea our Coast Guard helicopters could not have responded. I recommend the Coast Guard actively pursue the HIFR Certification program and investigating the feasibility of equipping our present H-3 aircraft with an air to air refueling capability.
Of other historical note, the U.S. Coast Guard took action to establish its rescue elite after February 12, 1983. The first qualified U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmers were assigned to helicopter units effective March 5, 1985.
The U.S. Coast Guard for purpose of celebrating its 217th birthday compiled a list of the top ten missions
in the Coast Guard's history. The M/V Prinsendam maritime rescue lists second among the top ten rescues of all time the Coast Guard accomplished between 4 August 1790 and 4 August 2007.