Coast Guard flies 4,300 miles to conduct medevac

JUNEAU, Alaska – Coast Guard rescue crews flew 4,300 miles to conduct a medical evacuation of a 58-year-old Filipino crewman aboard a bulk carrier 50 miles east of Attu Island, Alaska, Wednesday and returned the the crewmember safely to Kodiak, Alaska, Thursday night.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules airplane flew from Air Station Kodiak to Adak Island, Alaska Tuesday but could not medevac the injured crewmember until Wednesday due to winds in excess of 50 mph and 25-foot seas.

The survivor was safely hoisted into the helicopter Wednesday at 2 p.m. in 40 mph winds and nine-foot seas and flown to Shemya Island, Alaska reportedly in stable condition. The injured crewmember was temporarily treated at a medical facility on Shemya Island overnight.

A Coast Guard C-130 safely transferred the injured crewmember to awaiting emergency medical services at Air Station Kodiak Thursday at 10:45 p.m.

The Coast Guard initially received a high frequency radio call Monday at 8:54 p.m. from the captain of the Lavieen Rose requesting a medevac for the injured crewmember. The Lavieen Rose crew was able to treat the injured Filipino crewmember aboard the vessel after he was injured in heavy sea conditions.

The Panamanian-flagged vessel was en route from Tacoma, Wash. to Hiro, Japan. The vessel has resumed its previous course.

The captain of the Lavieen Rose reported the crewmember sustained a broken right arm and possible spinal injuries.

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