Three US Marines step in to save Tallinn man's life

The three United States Marines lance corporals who came to the rescue as a man's life was endangered due to a choking incident.
The three United States Marines lance corporals who came to the rescue as a man's life was endangered due to a choking incident. Source: US NAVEUR-NAVAF

The prompt actions of three United States Marines off-duty in Tallinn last weekend likely saved an unconscious man's life, the United States military says.

The incident took place last Sunday, May 7, at an outlet of fast food chain Hesburger, in the capital.

One of those marines engaged in the life-saving procedure, Lance Cpl. Aiden Morey, said: "It feels good and surprising that we showed up at the right time and the right place."

"I jumped into action without a second thought after seeing him near death," he went on, according to a United States Naval Forces Europe and Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) press release.

Another, Lance Cpl. Christopher Butemeyer, said: "I felt confident in our abilities to do the job. We all knew what needed to be done and we all did our own individual tasks to help. I put my trust in the Marines around me and this situation reinforced that trust."

Butemeyer and Morey had been joined by Lance Cpl. Colton Allen, for what started as an uneventful trip to get something to eat.

All three marines are assigned to Task Force 61/2 (TF 61/2), Mobile Reconnaissance Company (CTG 61/2.4).

However, soon the trio spotted a man in a nearby booth, who appeared to be unconscious. On taking a closer look, they saw his lips were noticeably blue and the skin beginning to match that hue, proving the situation was a grave one.

Luckily the marines' training kicked in, and they were able to keep him alive for as long as it took for first responders to attend – the latter said that without the intervention of the three men, the victim would almost certainly have died of suffocation.

"It was a sigh of relief when we learned that we helped save him," Lance Cpl. Allen said.

Allen and Butemeyer worked on clearing the man's airway, while Morey called 112. Butemeyer also started to administer sternum rubs in an attempt to force the man to regain consciousness, while Allen monitored the man's pulse.

The victim nonetheless remained unresponsive, so the marines moved him on to the floor, placing him into the recovery position, and began a detailed assessment in accordance with tactical combat casualty care procedures, NAVEUR-NAVAF says.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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