The Coast Guard medevac’d an injured fisherman from near the Islands of the Four Mountains in the central Aleutians yesterday.
The 27-year-old man was aboard the fishing vessel Patricia Lee at the time. The boat was near Chuginadak Island, home of Cleveland Volcano, when the man hurt his foot and needed medical attention.
Coast Guard public affairs officer Diana Honings says the cutter Alex Haley was nearby, with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aboard.
“The Alex Haley was on a patrol through the Bering Sea,” she said, “and they happened to be in the neighborhood when the man needed a medevac.”
The Alex Haley sent its helicopter to hoist the injured fisherman from the 116-foot vessel Patricia Lee. The man was flown to Unalaska for emergency treatment. Weather conditions were reportedly calm at the time.
It’s the first Coast Guard medevac in several months from near Unalaska. But Honings says this summer has been busy for rescues elsewhere in the state.
It was a busy weekend for Air Station Kodiak helicopter rescue crews. On Friday they were called upon to transport a woman from Saltry Cove who was injured in an accident, and on Sunday, they brought an ailing fisherman into town from near Village Islands.
Midday Friday the Coast Guard received a call from the Kodiak Police Department reporting a 50-year-old woman had been injured in an ATV accident at Saltry and needed a helicopter medevac. According to Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin Monk the Coast Guard agreed a helicopter flight would be the safest and most effective way to transport the woman back to town. The unidentified woman was turned over to EMTs in Kodiak. Her current condition was not reported.
On Sunday, a 69-year-old man from the fishing vessel Sierra Seas was suffering from acute stomach pains and needed assistance. The Jayhawk crew landed on a beach near Village Islands where they met the man and his wife were picked up for transport. The man’s stomach pain was reportedly from a pre-existing medical condition. He was transferred to local EMS, and like the earlier rescue, his identity was not reported by the Coast Guard and his current condition is unknown.
A mariner possibly suffering from appendicitis was medevac’ed from a vessel near Unalaska on Saturday.
The Coast Guard sent an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the cutter Alex Haley to hoist the 40-year-old man from the 559-foot bulk carrier Ken Ei [ken eye], a Panama-flagged vessel. It was about 100 miles northwest of Unalaska at the time.
The man was suffering from abdominal pain, and the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon determined he might have had appendicitis. The crewman was transported first to Dutch Harbor, where a larger MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter took him to Cold Bay to meet a commercial medflight for further treatment in Anchorage.
There were reportedly 40-mile-an-hour winds and seven-foot seas on scene during the medevac.
The Coast Guard forward-deploys crews from Air Station Kodiak around the Bering Sea to cut response times during this busy time of year. Saturday’s was their third medevac of past week, and their eighth in the region in the new year.
A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter crew medevac’d another injured mariner from a floating processor off of Cold Bay Wednesday. This time it was from the 680-foot Ocean Phoenix, the largest fishing vessel in the nation.
The helicopter crew transported the unidentified woman 75-miles back to Cold Bay for a commercial flight to Anchorage. The 25-year-old was suffering from severe chest pain.
The Jayhawk and crew are forward-deployed in Kodiak for the fishing season. It’s their second medevac this week.
Weather on scene was reported as 27 degrees, wind speed of 26 mph, visibility at 3.5 miles and snowing.
Jay Barrett/KMXT and Annie Ropeik/KUCB
A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevac’d an ailing mariner from a vessel in the Bering Sea near Cold Bay Monday evening.
The Coast Guard received the medevac request from the 158-foot fishing vessel Arica after a crewman came down with severe abdominal pain, said Coast Guard petty officer Grant DeVuyst.
“The hoist is what happens when we don’t have a surface asset, or if there’s not time for a fishing vessel or whatever kind of vessel to make it into port. So it’s the only practical way to get someone who needs to be evacuated into the helicopter.”
The helicopter and crew were stationed in Cold Bay for the fishing season. They’ve been there for the past couple of months. DeVuyst says the Coast Guard deploys groups from Air Station Kodiak to be on hand for rescues during the peak fishing times.
“The Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska — very huge bodies of water, but that’s why the helicopter’s already there, because there’s such an increase in the number of fishing vessels out there, you’re more likely to see accidents happening with more vessels, of course, so we’re able to get on-scene quickly and get them back to care.”
He said Monday night’s medevac was done by about 7:30 p.m. The Jayhawk crew returned the mariner to Cold Bay for a commercial flight to Anchorage. His current condition is unknown. The Coast Guard did not release his name.
Eight-to-10-foot seas with winds to 35 mph were reported at the scene of the rescue, with visibility down to a half-mile. DeVuyst says it was typical rough weather that didn’t hamper the operation.
Coast Guard helicopter crews airlifted three mariners with unusual injuries near Cold Bay Wednesday night. Petty Officer Shawn Eggert says a distress call came in from the150-foot fishing vessel Pavlof around 11 p.m., reporting a 50-year-old man had taken ill.
“He was reported to have a staph infection and his vital signs were decreasing.”
Eggert says an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter attached to the cutter Munro picked up the man about 50 miles outside Cold Bay, and took him to the community’s clinic. He was then transferred to a Life-Med flight bound for Anchorage.
Around the same time, another Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted two burn victims off a bulk cargo carrier. Eggert says two crew members on the Astoria Bay were badly burned on Tuesday, while they were fixing the ship’s boiler.
The Astoria Bay was traveling to China when the men got hurt. The ship consulted with the Coast Guard’s flight surgeon and diverted to Unalaska for medical help, but Eggert says the injured men wouldn’t have made it that far.
“There were at least third degree burns. It was bad enough to warrant flying them to the Cold Bay clinic, where the Guardian Life Flight [helicopter] could pick them up to take them to the Seattle Burn Center.”
Eggert says the burns are serious, though it’s not the most common kind of accident that happens at sea.
“Your most common injuries usually involve slips, trips and falls, basically. But burn injuries are one of the other dangers while working aboard a boat — especially any time you’re working around the boilers or engine room.”
The Astoria Bay is a 609-foot bulk carrier flagged out of Hong Kong.