Traverse City, Michigan – U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City medically evacuated a man experiencing a life-threatening illness from Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan Saturday morning.
Early in the morning search-and-rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received notice from officials on the island of a man needing a medical evacuation. After consulting with a Coast Guard flight surgeon, a rescue air crew launched from Air Station Traverse City in an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
Two attempts at reaching the island were made. The first aircrew departed the air station around sunrise, but encountered heavy fog, snow and icing conditions and was forced to return to the airport. A second crew from the air station was able to reach Beaver Island later in the morning under slightly improved weather conditions.
The helicopter transported 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.
The Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay, based in St. Ignace, MI, and an HC-130J Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, NC were also dispatched in the event the helicopter did not reach Beaver Island.