Coast Guard conducts non-maritime medevac off of Mackinac Island

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CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard conducted a medevac of an ill 66-year-old man off of Mackinac Island, Mich., early Wednesday morning.

Just before 1 a.m., a search-and-rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., was contacted by someone from the Mackinac Island Medical Clinic who was requesting a transport for a man suffering from severe illnesses to the mainland for more extensive medical care. After conversing with the Coast Guard’s on-duty flight surgeon and the attending physician at the clinic, it was determined that a medevac was needed immediately.

The SAR controller directed the launch of a boat crew from Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich. The boat crew, aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, arrived at Mackinac Island at 2:19 a.m., took the ill man aboard the RB-M, and transported him to St. Ignace Marina, where he was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services. The EMS transported the man to Petoskey Medical Center in St. Ignace.

“My role as flight surgeon is to state the gain of conducting a medevac, and I confirmed the need for this medevac because I felt it was a life-threatening situation,” said Dr. Gregory Scherle, the flight surgeon who authorized the medevac. “The Coast Guard provides a great service to the residents of these remote islands, because there is limited available commercial transportation for medical patients, especially at night and during heavy weather conditions.”

The man’s condition is unknown at this time.

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