SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The crew of a Coast Guard MH-65D helicopter hoisted and medevaced a woman Sunday who fell through a catwalk and remained trapped on the structure of the abandoned sugar pier in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
The woman sustained a leg laceration and possible broken bones.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a call from a 911 Emergency operator reporting the incident and relaying a request from on-scene rescue teams to evacuate the injured woman by helicopter due to the hazards and difficult access the structure presented.
A helicopter was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Aguadilla to provide rescue assistance.
Puerto Rico Police, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency and Aguadilla Fire Department rescue teams managed to climb the structure by ladder and lower the woman to an area that could be accessed by the Coast Guard helicopter.
Upon arriving on scene, the crew of the first Coast Guard helicopter deployed their rescue swimmer, who with the assistance of on-scene rescue personnel secured the woman on the aircraft litter. The woman was hoisted onboard the helicopter and transported to the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where she was transferred to Emergency Medical Service personnel for transport to the “Centro Medico” Hospital in Mayaguez.
“This is the third rescue case in the last seven months that the Coast Guard has responded to at the old sugar pier in Aguadilla,” said Capt. Robert Warren, commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “People who access this structure, whether to climb it or dive into the water, are placing their lives at risk.”