Two sailors were injured after a man overboard incident while transferring to USNS Comfort (T-Ah-20) from a small boat near Jeremie, Haiti, U.S. 4th Fleet announced in a series of tweets Tuesday.
The sailors were treated aboard the hospital ship and have made full recoveries, according to the tweets.
USNS Comfort has paused ship-to-shore operations in Haiti for December 13th, until a safe alternative for personnel transfer has been identified.
— USNAVSO_4THFLT (@NAVSOUS4THFLT) December 13, 2022
A total of 19 personnel fell overboard during the transfer to Comfort, although it is not clear how many were sailors and how many were civilians. USCGC Harold Miller (WPC-1138) helped return the personnel to Comfort.
The personnel were in a small boat being lifted to Comfort by a crane when the boat became unbalanced and tipped, 4th Fleet spokesperson Lewis Preddy told USNI News.
Swells had reached a dangerous point yesterday, making transfer to Comfort difficult, Preddy said. Lifting personnel on a small boat via crane was an adaptive measure used to adjust for the sea state.
The overboard incident is being investigated aboard Comfort, Preddy said.
Comfort paused the ship-to-shore operations Tuesday while determining a safe alternative to transfer personnel to Wharf de Jeremie.
Comfort arrived off the coast of Jeremie Sunday as part of the Continuing Promise 2022 (CP22) mission, according to a Navy release. As part of the mission, Comfort personnel planned to provide medical services, such as adult and pediatric care, dental practices and optometry, Monday through Thursday.
The stop in Haiti was the final stop of CP22, according to the Navy release.