Coast Guard Evacuates Cadet from Container Ship
On Thursday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew out of Kodiak, Alaska completed a long-range medevac to retrieve an ill cadet from the Matson-operated container ship Maunawili.
The USCG Seventeenth District was notified by the firm's shoreside health care advisers that a cadet from Maine Maritime Academy had come down with severe pneumonia with complications. The flight surgeon on duty recommended a medevac. At the time the Coast Guard was notified, the Maunawili was 700 nm south of Kodiak Island, and her crew was instructed to make best speed toward Cold Bay in order to be in range of the helicopter crew.
The Maunawili can make about 23 knots, and by Thursday she had closed the distance by over 400 nm. Air Station Kodiak dispatched an HC-130 to meet her for communications coverage; a backup Jayhawk helicopter stood by in Sand Point for self-rescue in the event that the first should go down; and the primary Jayhawk helicopter made the 200 nm trip to lift the cadet aboard and take him for medical treatment. A Guardian Flight met the aircrew in Cold Bay and flew the cadet to Providence Hospital in Anchorage.
“Due to the distance from the initial call for assistance, it took a concentrated effort to coordinate the long-range medevac,” said Lt. Joseph Schlosser, command duty officer, Coast Guard 17th District. “Our crews and assets worked diligently to complete this complex mission and we’re glad we were able to assist the man and get him to the medical care he needed.” The USCG out of Kodiak typically conducts several long-distance medevacs per year with coordination between multiple aircraft.