Air Station Traverse City airlifts man to safety from Beaver Island

BEAVER ISLAND, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City medically evacuated a man experiencing a life-threatening illness from Beaver Island Airport Friday at 8:30 a.m.

J. Croswhite, a resident of the island, received emergency medical care after he exhibited life threatening symptoms. Beaver Island emergency medical services were able to stabilize his condition prior to the helicopter’s arrival.

“The weather between Traverse City and Beaver Island was very challenging,” said Lt. Jeremy Loeb, the HH-65C helicopter pilot.

“In the dynamic winter weather environment of the Great Lakes, the Coast Guard oftentimes is the only agency that can respond in these severe conditions,” said Loeb.

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay was diverted from its Lake Michigan ice breaking mission to Beaver Island in the event that the helicopter was unable to land due to poor weather.

Petty Officer Chris Monville, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, evaluated the patient’s health and accompanied a Beaver Island paramedic on the flight.

“The highly effective coordination between Beaver Island EMS, law enforcement and airport staff made this medevac successful; it’s a team effort and everyone played a key role in saving a life,” said Monville.

The helicopter airlifted the man to Cherry Capital Airport, where an awaiting ambulance took him to Munson Medical Center.

The Coast Guard Air Station in Traverse City operates five helicopters that conduct search and rescue operations for Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and the surrounding Great Lakes region.

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