A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew carried out a rescue aboard the car carrier "Luna Spirit" yesterday morning. The 590-foot vessel was located 150 miles southeast of Kodiak Island at the time of the rescue.
The ship master, Raul Sempio was hoisted from the Panamanian-flagged vessel and flown to Kodiak. He was then transported to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. The 61-year old man’s condition is reported as stable.
On Tuesday evening, the crew of the Luna Spirit called the Coast Guard to request a medevac for Sempio who was suffering from stroke symptoms. The Luna Spirit was more than 500 miles southeast of Kodiak on a course from Los Angeles to Japan at the time of the request.
When a night operation was determined unnecessarily risky, a decision was made to launch yesterday morning from Air Station Kodiak. A second MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, also from Kodiak, flew cover for the first helicopter crew and provided offshore communication.
Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis was on the mission. She spoke with KMXT’s Diana Gish about the Wednesday morning rescue which took place in 23 mile per hour winds with sea swells up to 20 feet.