76-year-old diver medevaced by Coast Guard Air Station Houston

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HOUSTON — A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 76-year-old man off a charter dive vessel, Saturday, after he completed two dives and began to show signs of stoke, 121 miles offshore Galveston, Texas.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center received a distress call from the captain of the dive vessel at approximately 5.p.m., stating that one of the divers on the vessel had completed two dives and after the second dive began to experience signs of stroke. Watchstanders dispatched an Coast Guard Air Station Houston crew aboard a MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and diverted an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aboard an HU-25 Falcon jet, who was on routine patrol, to provide top cover and communications.

The helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer down to the charter dive vessel to assess the man’s condition and prepare him for the hoist. The helicopter crew then hoisted the man aboard the helicopter and transported him to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“It’s essential for mariners to be prepared for the inherently dangerous environment in which they operate,” said Lt. j.g. Melissa K. Mccafferty, command duty officer at Sector Houston-Galveston. “The captain of the charter vessel had a satellite radio, which he was able to contact us on. The ability to contact the Coast Guard in distress situations, particularly those more than 100 nautical miles offshore, is imperative. We are glad we were able to safely evacuate the man and get him the medical treatment he direly needed. We encourage all mariners to have proper safety and communication equipment aboard their vessels.”

The man is being treated at Memorial Hermann Hospital and was reported to be in stable condition.

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