Ministry’s air wing already made four mercy flights this year

Pilots, medical technicians and ground crew unload one of the 2013 emergency cases at Juan Santamaría airport. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Although the security ministry’s Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea is better known for searching for missing persons, drugs and crooks, pilots already have flown four mercy missions this year.

The air service made 247 such flights lasting 422 air hours in 2012, it reported Thursday.

The air service is called in for serious medical cases and to airlift accident victims.

This week pilots flew to Limón to airlift two 6-month-old twins who were having respiratory problems.

They landed at the security ministry’s base at Juan Santamaría airport and went by ambulance to the Hospital Nacional de Niños.

In another case, pilots and accompanying medical technicians airlifted a pregnant mother, 24, who was experiencing serious problems, said the agency.

At the end of the year, the Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea provided aircraft to search for a 13-year-old swimmer who is lost and presumed dead off Playa Coyote. That is one of the typical missions for the air agency.

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