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Coast Guard rescue takes a twist

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A U.S. Coast Guard rescue crew was put in jeopardy, but it was a member of the Air Station Savannah team whose life was threatened. 

U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Brannan Hood has a cable that will forever be the reminder of an incredible rescue.

Hood and his crew were called out Tuesday night for what they thought was a routine medevac call 30 miles off shore to airlift a woman from a sailboat who was having chest pains.

The crew was successful in hoisting the woman up to the helicopter, but one crew member was not as lucky.

"When they decided to send down the hook to pick me up, I was going up the mast of the sailboat but it got me tangled in the mast. At that point, the flight mechanic saw I had a hold of the mast and decided to shear the cable," said Brannan Hood.

Jeff Kortis is the flight mechanic who cut that cable.

"A split second decision had to be made. The helicopter was in danger, the rescue swimmer in danger, and the people on the vessel, so I made the decision to shear the cable," said Kortis.

Hood was able to climb down the sailboat's mast and wait for a Tybee Coast Guard boat to come and get him.

Michael Pugh was on that boat.

"You can never tell what's going to happen due to the forces of nature. We were there within 25 to 30 minutes, which was a great thing,"said Pugh.

Situations like these are the reason Hood says they train so much.

"It was pretty intense but with our training, it just kicks in. I'm lucky I had a good flight mechanic. We knew what we were both thinking without saying a word. I was hanging from the helicopter and he was in it and we knew what to do," said Hood.  

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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