A pair of Air Station Kodiak helicopter crews were busy yesterday with emergency medical hoists from ships in Alaska waters. The Coast Guard aircrews forward deployed to Cold Bay for the fishing season medevac’d an 80-year-old woman and a 34-year-old male during separate cases.
Early Wednesday Coast Guard watchstanders received a report from the cruise ship Sun Princess that a woman was suffering from symptoms of a perforated appendix. The duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and requested the launch of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. It flew to Dutch Harbor to pick up a Guardian Flight crew member to assist with the woman’s treatment.
The Jayhawk crew hoisted the woman at 8 a.m. and transported her to Dutch Harbor where they rendezvoused with the Guardian Flight aircraft to transfer her for further care.
In a separate case, watchstanders received a report from the container ship Ever Lively of a man suffering from symptoms of an abdominal infection. Again, the duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and watchstanders requested the launch of a Jayhawk helicopter from Cold Bay and an HC-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft from Kodiak.
The Jayhawk crew hoisted the man at 3 p.m. and transported him to Cold Bay where they rendezvoused with Med Flight to transfer him for further care.
Lt. Joseph Schlosser, a command duty officer at Coast Guard District 17, said the Cold Bay forward operating location allows faster medevacs, which get individuals to the care they need quicker.