Coast Guard Airlifts Container Ship Captain

HONOLULU — The U.S. Coast Guard today airlifted the captain of a container ship approximately 50 miles west of Kauai. It was the third medical evacuation from a ship in four days for Coast Guard Hawaii personnel.

The captain of the 750-foot Amarantha reported via a VHF radio call that he was suffering from abdominal pains. A Coast Guard search and rescue controller in a Juneau, Alaska, command center heard the call from the vessel, which was bound from Japan to Hawaii. The Alaska Coast Guard command center relayed the call to search and rescue controllers with the Coast Guard’s Honolulu command center.

The Amarantha’s captain called for help at 4:45 p.m. April 15. The captain was directed to continue sailing for Hawaii and get as close as possible to Kauai.

At 7 a.m. today, a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point was on scene and hoisted the captain from the container vessel.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew transferred the patient to Queen’s Medical Center at 8:30 a.m.

“He was in acute pain,” said Coast Guard Lt. Brian Murphy, a search and rescue controller of the container ship captain. “After careful review with a flight surgeon (medical officer), we determined it wise to hoist him to medical care in Honolulu.”

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