Coast Guard Conducts Long Range Medevac 225 Miles Offshore

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard medically evacuated an injured Sri Lankan man from a ship 225 miles southeast of Kodiak Island, Alaska at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Coast Guard received a request for a medevac from the captain aboard the motor vessel Santiago, a 572-foot Marshall Islands-flagged vessel early Saturday morning. A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Long Range Surveillance Aircraft launched from Air Station Kodiak shortly after a Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended the medevac.

“These types of rescues present added challenges in Alaska due to the vast distances and ominous weather conditions,” said Captain Michael Inman, Chief of Response Division for 17th Coast Guard District, “Our rescue crews are routinely charged with overcoming these obstacles and meeting all mission requirements including a safe return.”

The MH-60 helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 4:45 p.m. Saturday. The helicopter crew could see the Santiago on radar but not visually during the first pass when within 3/4 of mile due to poor weather conditions. The rescue crew visually located the motor vessel on its second pass. Visibility increased as the motor vessel exited the fog bank.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered to the vessel to help the crew of the Santiago prepare the injured man for hoisting. At approximately 5:30 p.m. the Coast Guard finished hoisting the injured man and departed the scene and headed directly to Kodiak. The Coast Guard safely landed in Kodiak at 7:20 p.m. and delivered the patient to awaiting emergency medical service personnel.

The injured man was listed in stable condition at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

The Coast Guard C-130 provided cover and radio guard for the helicopter.

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