USCG Medevacs Patient from Chinese Icebreaker
On Saturday, a small boat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley medevaced a patient with a broken arm from the Chinese research vessel Xue Long off the Bering Sea port of Nome, Alaska. The small boat crew transferred him to the cutter for transport into port at Nome.
Coast Guard District 17 received the medevac request from a Coast Guard liaison to the government of China, who reported that a Chinese national aboard the Xue Long suffered a broken arm while conducting research in the Arctic Ocean. Watchstanders directed the Xue Long to travel 15 nm offshore from Nome, where the Coast Guard carried out the medevac.
“Cooperation between the Coast Guard, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection contributed to the success of the medevac,” said Rear Adm. Michael McAllister, Coast Guard District 17 commander. “Partnerships and international cooperation are integral to the Coast Guard’s responsibilities for ensuring safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in U.S. Arctic waters.”
The medevac was not the first time that the U.S. Coast Guard came to the aid of the Xue Long. The Chinese research vessel became stuck in the ice at Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica in early 2014, along with the Russian icebreaker Akademik Shokalskiy. The USCG icebreaker Polar Star got under way to help break them out, but the two vessels managed to free themselves before she arrived.