Coast Guard medevacs ailing crewman from container ship off Oahu

65 Barbers PointHONOLULU — The Coast Guard medevaced a 31-year-old crewman from the 902-foot container ship Kachidoki Bridge 35 miles off Oahu, Sunday.

The man, reportedly suffering from severe abdominal pain, was safely delivered to Queens Medical Center for further care.

“Our hoist capable helicopters and well trained crews make it possible to get mariners like this man to a higher level of medical care as quickly as possible,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Les Elliott, operations unit controller with Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “The safety and well being of mariners at seas is one of our top priorities.”

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu originally received the request for a medevac from the crew of the vessel at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The vessel was 983 miles north of Oahu at the time. A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and did not recommend an immediate medevac but did recommend the vessel make best course and speed toward Oahu and to keep the crewman comfortable as they closed the distance to Oahu.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched at 10 a.m. Sunday and rendezvoused with the vessel to transport the man. They successfully lowered the Coast Guard rescue swimmer to assess the man and prepare him for transport. During that time the helicopter suffered a malfunction and the crew was forced to conduct an emergency landing at Dillingham Airfield on the North Shore of Oahu where it will be assessed and any necessary repairs will be made. A second Dolphin and crew were launched from the air station and successfully completed the medevac.

Weather conditions at the time of the medevac were reportedly east winds at 29 mph gusting to 31 mph, with seas to 11 feet and showers. A small craft advisory is in effect through Monday afternoon.

The Portuguese-flagged container vessel was en route to Los Angeles.

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