Coast Guard helicopter crew performs back to back medevacs

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew flew more than 560 miles while performing back-to-back medevacs in southeast Alaska Saturday.

The Coast Guard received a call for assistance in the medevac of a 78-year-old male Haines medical clinic patient at around 5 p.m. Shortly after receiving the request from Haines, a second medevac request was received for a 35-year-old male who had reported head injuries sustained during a roll-over motor vehicle accident in Klawock.

It was determined by the Coast Guard flight surgeon from Sitka the transport of the accident victim would be handled first due to the severity of his medical conditions. The helicopter crew flew from Sitka to Klawock where they received the accident victim and transported him to emergency medical personnel in Ketchikan for further transport to Ketchikan General Hospital.

After safely transferring the 35-year-old male in Ketchikan at 10:28 p.m. and refueling the helicopter, the crew then flew more than 300 miles to Haines to pick up the 78-year-old male who was reportedly suffering from degrading symptoms of heart disease. Arriving in Haines around 1:30 a.m., the helicopter crew safely picked up the 78-year-old male and transported him to Juneau arriving at 3:45 a.m. where he was transferred to an awaiting commercial medevac provider for further transport.

“We had a long night,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Coulter, aircraft commander from Sitka. “While we get multiple medevac requests several times a year, we rarely have the medevacs so far away from each other.”

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