VIDEO: Strength to spare

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The USS Zumwalt is the Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer — the lead ship of the new Zumwalt class — and it has stealth capabilities from radar.

The 600-foot, $3.5 billion vessel was launched Dec. 7, and within days it had assisted the Coast Guard in a rescue mission. The distinctive Zumwalt, which attracted curious onlookers when it was launched from the Bath Iron Works in Maine, helped rescue an ailing 46-year-old commercial fisherman 40 nautical miles southeast of Portland, Maine, on Dec. 11.

About 3 a.m., Sector Northern New England watchstanders received a call from the 45-foot fishing boat Danny Boy. The captain had chest pains and needed medical assistance. An MH-60 Jayhawk left from Air Station Cape Cod to medevac the patient.

However, when the aircrew reached the scene, they decided the hoist was too dangerous because of the configuration of Danny Boy’s deck. The Coast Guard requested assistance from nearby ships.

The Zumwalt was doing sea trials offshore and offered to help, launching a small-boat crew and bringing the ailing captain aboard the destroyer. From there, the Coast Guard aircrew hoisted the man and brought him to the Portland Jetport. He was taken to Maine Medical Center.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the captain the Zumwalt rescued has needed emergency help before — in fact, Dale Sparrow has been involved in at least three Coast Guard missions during the past four years, according to the newspaper.

Lt. David Bourbeau called the string of rescue missions for Sparrow “interesting,” but he said it does not matter how many times someone calls for help.

“Regardless who is out there, if they are in distress, we will respond,” he said. “That is what we do and we are proud of it.”