A Coast Guard crew medevacked a mariner with an injured hand off a freighter south of Unalaska yesterday (Wednesday).
The cutter Alex Haley responded to the request from the 738-foot Lowlands Maine. The Panama-flagged vessel that was on its way from China to the Seattle area.
A 55-year-old crewman on the ship had hurt his hand in the engine room and needed medical treatment, according to a Coast Guard press release.
The Lowlands Maine called the Coast Guard for help Tuesday, and met up with the Alex Haley 115 miles south of Unalaska Wednesday. The cutter’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopter airlifted the injured man off the freighter and took him back to Unalaska for treatment.
The Alex Haley is stationed in Kodiak. The cutter was in Unalaska this week for an annual test of the city’s emergency towing system.
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Tagged KUCB, USCG
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton. USCG photo
The United States Coast Guard’s newest cutter called on Kodiak recently. The 418-foot Stratton, the fourth of eight planned Legend Class National Security Cutters, was passing through on its way from its homeport of Alameda, California, to the Arctic Ocean. The commanding officer is Captain Andrew Sugimoto.
April is month of the military child in Alaska – a recognition that doesn’t go unnoticed here in Kodiak. The island is home to the largest Coast Guard base in the U.S., but is also home for service men and women, and their families, who are enlisted in the Navy Seals and National Guard.
Velma Vining is a child development services specialist on base and said the month of the military child is meant to honor the children of those families, who are often forced to move around frequently and live in single-parent homes when parents are deployed or on duty.
“It’s really hard for kids to pick up and move away from their family, their friends and really close relationships that they’ve developed and it happens to them – it can happen ever six months to a couple years that they have to say goodbye to really close friends, and it can be hard for any age group. So these are the challenges that military kids have to face. And not only that, not only do they have to pick up and leave and change their home, they also have to say goodbye to a parent when they deploy.”
April 15th was designated as a day to wear purple and show support for military children by Governor Sean Parnell. Vining said this is the third annual purple up for military kids observance.
“There’s something special about the color purple. Purple symbolizes all the branches of the military because all of the different colors come together to make purple – green and blue and red for the Marines – they all come together and make purple. So it’s a visual way to show support for all military children.” Continue reading
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Brandon Upchurch
The off-hand comments of an enlisted Coast Guardsman on a public Facebook page about Kodiak have landed him in hot water with his superiors at Coast Guard Base Kodiak. In a post Wednesday on Friends of Kodiak regarding Native land access restrictions Petty Officer Brandon Upchurch made derogatory comments toward Alaska Natives and claimed he accesses Native land despite it being private property.
KMXT’s Jay Barrett has more, and we want to caution you, some of the comments Upchurch made will be offensive to some.
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.
Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, U.S. Coast Guard 17th District, and Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, cut the ceremonial ribbon during a ceremony on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Jan. 31. The ceremony was held to commemorate the opening of a new U.S. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage wing of the Alaska National Guard headquarters building that was built in 2013. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Edward Eagerton)