Three USCG Medevacs At Sea Over Holiday Weekend
Over Thanksgiving weekend, U.S. Coast Guard aircrews successfully responded to three separate requests for medical evacuation at sea – three more occasions for mariners to give thanks for the service of Coast Guard SAR personnel.
On Sunday, a Dolphin aircrew out of Air Station Barbers Point set out to assist a crewmember of the container ship Kachidoki Bridge, which was some 30 nm off Oahu, Hawaii. A crewmember of the Bridge was suffering from severe abdominal pain and needed to be airlifted when the vessel neared shore.
The aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer to the vessel to transport the crewmember. Shortly thereafter, the helicopter suffered a malfunction – an alarm about a gearbox in the tail, reported Military.com – which forced the aircrew to turn back and make an emergency landing at Dillingham Airfield, on Oahu's North Shore. None were injured and the helicopter will be assessed and repaired, the Coast Guard said.
A second aircrew from Barbers Point flew out to rendezvous with the Kachidoki Bridge instead. The aircrew successfully recovered the sick crewmember and flew him to a nearby medical center.
On Saturday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew airlifted an injured mariner from the deck of the bulker Tianjin Pioneer, about 85 nm north of Adak, Alaska.
The Pioneer reported that a crewmember had suffered a leg injury while working in heavy weather. A flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and the MH-60 and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft rendezvoused with the vessel. The MH-60 successfully hoisted the injured crewmember and brought him to Adak, where the HC-130 took him on board for a flight to Anchorage.
At the time of the medevac, winds were reportedly in excess of 40 knots.
“Having the Jayhawk and Hercules crews work in tandem is essential for long-range medevac cases,” said Adam DeRocher, a Coast Guard 17th District watchstander. “Our crews often work as a team to get patients the medical care they need as efficiently as possible while keeping each other safe.”
Separately, on Saturday, an MH-60 crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River airlifted an injured crewmember from the deck of the log carrier Global Saikai and brought him to shore for treatment.
The crewmember reportedly fell from a ladder and broke his arm.
The Sakai was 150 nm off of the Columbia River Bar at the time of the medevac.