Video: USCG Medevacs Injured Crewmember from Fishing Vessel

Published Jul 19, 2019 8:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday afternoon, a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a crewmember from a fishing vessel near Noyes Island, Alaska, off the west coast of Prince of Wales Island. The victim was bleeding and drifting in and out of consciousness after a blunt object struck her head.

At about 1140 hours, Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a call from the Craig City Harbormaster staff, who reported that a crewmember aboard the fishing vessel Western Cruiser had been injured. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew out of Coast Guard Air Station Sitka was already in the air, and they diverted to the Cruiser's location. 

A Craig City Harbormaster crew also responded aboard a 25-foot boat and met the crew of the Western Cruiser, near Cape Ulitka on the north end of Noyes Island, followed shortly after by the Jayhawk crew.

“A harbormaster had gotten there before us and dropped off an EMT,” said PO2 Aaron Eckstein, the rescue swimmer on the response. “So he had a chance to look her over and the bleeding was under control at that point.”

Eckstein evaluated her, and given her stable condition and the helicopter's fuel constraints, the aircrew decided to conduct a basket hoist.

“Overall it was a very smooth hoist, and the crew members on board were very welcoming and helped out,” said Eckstein. “The crew assisted in getting her over to the basket and one of the crew members assisted with the trail line.”

After she was hoisted, the aircrew did a bear hook recovery of Eckstein and made the one-hour transit to Sitka.