HONOLULU — The Coast Guard medevaced the master of the 70-foot fishing vessel Lady J3 about 41 miles north of Oahu Saturday morning.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point safely medevaced the 36-year-old man to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu for treatment. He was reportedly suffering from swelling to his lower extremities and was unable to stand.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Communications Center Honolulu received a request for the medevac from the NOAA Fisheries observer aboard the Lady J3 mid-morning Friday. The vessel was 176 miles north of Kauai at the time, heading toward Oahu and maintained a six-hour communications schedule with Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders.
By the evening the master’s condition had deteriorated and he was having trouble breathing. At the recommendation of the Coast Guard flight surgeon the vessel continued to make best course and speed toward Oahu to close the distance and bring them into range of the Coast Guard Dolphin crew. The medevac was conducted at first light to bring the master to a higher level of medical care.
“This case illustrates the importance of the hoist capable helicopters we regularly use to provide lifesaving assistance to mariners around the nation,” said Lt. Matt Chase, a pilot with Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. “This capability was actually born out of the events of Dec. 7th and Pearl Harbor. Coast Guard Lt. Frank Erickson served in Hawaii that day and after. He witnessed the death of thousands of sailors who couldn’t safely be reached and rescued. He went on to work with Igor Sikorsky to build an experimental hoist capable helicopter and was the Coast Guard’s first helicopter pilot. His intuition and ingenuity completely redefined the way the Coast Guard performs search and rescue and provided for this mariner’s rescue today.”
Weather conditions at the time of the hoist were reportedly 12 mph winds with seas to 7 feet, haze and showers.