SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The California Air National Guard unit in Silicon Valley rescued a man Saturday from a Panamanian container ship 675 nautical miles off the coast of California, military officials said.

The guard’s 129th Rescue Wing returned to Silicon Valley at about 4:30 p.m. and transferred the patient, a 54-year-old Croatian man, to San Jose Regional Medical Center.

The man was suffering from a life-threatening illness. National Guard spokesman Capt. Roderick Bersamina said the man was stable on the flight to California as a Guardian Angel pararescue team cared for him.

The container ship MSC FLAVIA was more than 1,000 miles west of the San Francisco Bay Area when the women and men of the guard accepted the assignment.

Since 1977, the 129th Rescue Wing has saved 1,134 lives.

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