GSB alum and current USCG Lt. Alex Mead '10 was the pilot in-command for the US Coast Guard rescue that saved two pilots after their Boeing 737 cargo plane crashed off the coast of Oahu on Friday, June 2.
Alex and his co-pilot Lt. Gleb Borovok arrived on scene at 2:30 a.m. where one of the cargo plane’s pilots was clinging to the tip of the downed aircraft’s tail while the other pilot was floating on a cargo load in the water. Moments later, the tail disappeared under water, leaving the first pilot swimming vigorously to stay afloat. That is when Alex and Lt. Borovok deployed a rescue swimmer to first rescue the pilot treading water.
"There was a lot of different debris in the water," said Alex in an interview with Hawaii News Now. "We realized that his man was now going to be struggling to fight...so we put our rescue swimmer down to affect an immediate rescue in order to get him out of the water as soon as we could, in the cabin, and get him the medical care that he needed before attending to the second victim."
Alex and his co-pilot made the rescue just minutes after their helicopter deployed. Both cargo pilots were transported to a hospital in Hawaii and are being treated for serious injuries.
After his time at GSB, Alex graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy in 2015 and completed his flight training in Pensacola, Florida. He previously won the USCG Service Medal for helping to prevent a runaway bush crash. He is also the son of former faculty member, Irene Mead.