Coast Guard conducts medevac from cruise ship in Skagway, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a man from a cruise ship docked in Skagway, Alaska, Tuesday.

The helicopter crew transported the 76-year-old man, who was reportedly suffering from abdominal pain, to awaiting emergency medical personnel in Juneau for further care.

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received the medevac request from the crew of the cruise ship Zuiderdam at 7:45 a.m., and directed the launch of the helicopter and crew.

The aircrew was accompanied by Capt. Thomas White, a Coast Guard flight surgeon at Air Station Sitka, who monitored the cruise ship passenger on the flight from Skagway to Juneau, where emergency medical services were waiting to transport the ailing man to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

“Sending a flight surgeon or corpsman on a medevac allows the Coast Guard to provide a higher level of care for an individual during a serious medical emergency,” said Chief Petty Officer Jenell Webster, a watchstander at Coast Guard 17th District. “In a region where medical facilities can be few and far between, it is crucial that we have the capability to care for the injured during transportation to the nearest hospital.”

At the time of transfer, the injured passenger was reported in stable condition.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew helps emergency medical personnel in Juneau, Alaska, transfer an ailing cruise ship passenger into an ambulance at the Juneau Air National Guard hangar in Juneau, Alaska, June 4, 2013. The passenger, who was reportedly suffering from abdominal pain, was medevaced from the cruise ship Zuiderdam in Skagway and taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital for treatment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew helps emergency medical personnel in Juneau, Alaska, transfer an ailing cruise ship passenger into an ambulance at the Juneau Air National Guard hangar in Juneau, Alaska, June 4, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst

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