Coast Guard conducts medevac off St. Paul Island

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft crews conducted a medevac of a fisherman from the 150-foot fishing vessel Alaskan Leader 265 miles northwest of St. Paul Island Thursday about 11:50 a.m.

Chad Smith, 40, residence unknown, was reportedly suffering from severe chest pains aboard the Alaskan Leader when Health Force Partners called the Seventeenth Coast Guard District Command Center in Juneau at approximately 4:55 p.m. Wednesday requesting assistance. The helicopter crew is scheduled to arrive in St. Paul about 1:30 p.m.

The watchstanders at the Rescue Coordination Center directed the launch of two helicopter crews about 7:38 p.m. Wednesday and arrived on scene two hours later but due to severe weather the hoist could not be completed. Weather conditions at the time of the attempted hoist were winds of 23 to 35 mph, with seas up to 20 feet and visibility of five miles. Weather conditions did not improve but daylight aided rescuers.

Smith is scheduled to receive a commercial medevac flight from St. Paul to Anchorage.

The Alaskan Leader is a longliner and homeported in Kodiak.

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