Navy stealth destroyer rescues fisherman off Maine coast

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The USS Zumwalt, the Navy's biggest and most expensive destroyer ever built, headed out in the Atlantic Oceon on Monday, December 7, 2015.  The ship is out at sea for the first time to undergo sea trials. (Credit: Dennis Griggs/US Navy)

The USS Zumwalt, the Navy’s biggest and most expensive destroyer ever built, headed out in the Atlantic Oceon on Monday, December 7, 2015. The ship is out at sea for the first time to undergo sea trials. (Credit: Dennis Griggs/US Navy)

The USS Zumwalt has yet to officially join the Navy’s fleet as one of its most advanced destroyer ships, but it has already helped bring a man to safety.

The advanced guided missile destroyer, which boasts stealth capabilities and will one day help support Special Operations forces, responded on Saturday to a distress call from a fishing boat off the coast of Maine, rescuing a fisherman who was experiencing chest pains.

The stealth destroyer’s crew — a combination of Navy personnel and employees of Bath Iron Works, which is testing the ship — deployed to the fishing vessel on an inflatable boat to hoist the distressed fisherman aboard the Zumwalt.

“After medical evaluation, the patient was transferred from Zumwalt to a Coast Guard helicopter and then to an area hospital,” U.S. Navy spokesperson Thurraya Kent said in a statement.

The Zumwalt is set to be commissioned sometime next year and was conducting “at-sea tests and trials” when it received the distress call, Kent added.

The Zumwalt will be the Navy’s largest destroyer once it is commissioned into service — but its stealth capabilities will make it look like a fishing boat on radar.