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Video: USCG Medevacs Injured Fisherman in Rough Bering Sea Conditions

medevac america's finest
Video and imagery courtesy USCG

Published Mar 18, 2022 2:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a man from a catcher-processor in rough weather in the Bering Sea, about 80 nm northwest of Dutch Harbor. 

The 17th Coast Guard District command center in Juneau received the medevac request from the fishing vessel America’s Finest at 0230 hours on Thursday morning. The master reported that a crew member had sustained serious injuries to his foot while the vessel was operating about 15 nm west of St. George Island.

The command center dispatched a Dolphin helicopter rescue crew while America’s Finest made way toward Dutch Harbor to close the distance. A Coast Guard Hercules airplane crew also launched from Air Station Kodiak - 650 nm away to the east - in order to provide support.

Weather on scene was typical for the Bering Sea, with 25-knot winds gusting to 35 knots, 15-foot seas and heavy freezing spray. A Dolphin helicopter crew from the cutter USCGC Alex Haley rendezvoused with America's Finest, and despite the challenging conditions, they successfully hoisted the injured man at about 1250 hours. They delivered him to Dutch Harbor and transferred him to LifeMed personnel for further transport.

“So many people contributed to the success of this case,” said Petty Officer First Class Jeffrey Dickey, a watchstander at the 17th District command center. “Thanks to the communication and continuous cooperation between America’s Finest, Alex Haley, command center personnel and the aircrews we were able to get this individual to a higher level of care.”