ALAMEDA, Calif. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton medically evacuated a crewmember aboard a cargo vessel approximately 690 miles offshore of Costa Rica Tuesday morning while conducting a routine law enforcement patrol.
Watchstanders aboard the Hamilton received a report from the crew of the cargo vessel BBC Balboa that a 28-year-old Russian male crewmember was experiencing symptoms consistent with appendicitis. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended that the patient be medically evacuated and taken to a hospital for emergency care.
Hamilton launched a small boat to assist the injured man and brought him aboard the the cutter where they transited towards Liberia, Costa Rica. A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter aboard the Hamilton launched several hours later to transport the injured crewmember to Daniel Oduber International airport to receive a higher level of care.
“These types of long range offshore search and rescue cases really highlight the reach and capability of the Coast Guard when assisting fellow mariners on the high seas,” said Lt. Joseph White, pilot of the helicopter crew. “It also shows how quickly partner nations, like Costa Rica and the United States, can work together to save a life.”
Hamilton is homeported in North Charleston, South Carolina. The primary missions include law enforcement – migrant interdiction operations, counter narcotics and living marine resources – search and rescue, defense operations and Homeland Security.