On Monday, the US Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured crew member from a fishing boat near St. Paul, Alaska.
Watchmen at the 17th Coast Guard District command center in Juneau received the medical evacuation request from the captain of a fishing vessel at 7:45 p.m. Sunday. The master reported that a hatch had closed on a crew member’s arm, causing serious injury. Conditions on site at the time of the call were typical of the Bering Sea in January, including 40-knot wind gusts and 10-foot seas.
The command center decided that medical evacuation was necessary and planned to launch a helicopter crew out of Cold Bay, along with a C-130 aircraft crew out of Kodiak for backup.
On Monday morning, a Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from the Coast Guard Air Station departed Cold Bay and encountered the fishing vessel. Constellation just outside St. Paul’s Harbor. At approximately 9:30 a.m., the crew hoisted the man on board and brought him to St. Paul’s Health Center. Medical staff then transferred him to a Guardian Flight aircrew, who flew him to Anchorage for further care.
“We have aircrew operating out of Cold Bay at this time of year specifically for situations like this,” said Chief Petty Officer Bobbi East, 17th District Command’s duty officer for the case. “Through cooperation between various Coast Guard crews from Kodiak Air Station and the 17th District, as well as the crew aboard Constellation, staff at St. Paul’s Health Center and the crew of the Guardian Flight, this man will receive the medical care he needs in Anchorage.
Constellation is a 165-foot converted catcher-processor based in Seattle, and she is active in the groundfish fishery in Alaska.