Coast Guard airlifts injured fisherman

BOSTON – A Coast Guard air crew hoisted a 60-year-old man from a Point Judith, R.I.,-based fishing vessel today, 90 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass.

The crew of the 81-foot Alexis Martina notified the Coast Guard at 2:08 p.m., that the man had been struck in the head by heavy equipment onboard and needed medical attention.

A Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod launched and arrived on scene at 5:44 p.m. A rescue swimmer was lowered to the ship, assessed the man, and prepared him for transport. The man was lifted into the helicopter at 6:30 p.m., and flown to Logan Airport in Boston, where an awaiting ambulance transported him to Massachusetts General Hospital.

“The key to this case was that the ship’s crew had communcation equipment well beyond the standard,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Johnson, an operations specialist at the Coast Guard First District Command Center in Boston. “In addition to the required VHF-FM radio, they also had an HF radio and satellite phone onboard, which is how they were able to talk to us from 90 miles offshore.”

Johnson said the ship was, as is required by law, equipped with an emergency position indicating radio beacon, which could have also been used to hail the Coast Guard from a great distance.

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