Coast Guard medevacs man from drillship Noble Discoverer

Coast Guard Alaska NewsKODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew medevaced a 59-year-old man from the drillship Noble Discoverer in Norton Sound, 68 miles west of Nome, Wednesday.

“Having a forward-deployed helicopter crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley provides us with the ability to quickly respond to emergencies like this in remote Northern Alaska,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “As part of our Arctic Shield 2012 operations, we strategically placed our assets and personnel to fulfill our traditional Coast Guard missions in the Arctic.”

The Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau received a request for the medevac from the crew of the drillship at about 4 a.m. The crew reported the man was suffering from an irregular heartbeat but was stable.

The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon was consulted and concurred with the need for the medevac. The Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, attached to the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley which was anchored off Nome, was dispatched from Nome at about 7:52 a.m. They arrived on scene about 30 minutes later, landed on the helipad and embarked the patient. He was delivered to Nome where a LifeMed air ambulance was waiting. The patient was transported to a hospital in Anchorage.

The Noble Discoverer is a 514-foot drillship from Seattle under contract to Shell.

As part of Arctic Shield, the Coast Guard has a forward operating location in Barrow with two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters and Coast Guard cutters, including a National Security Cutter with and embarked MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, patrolling in the region and ready to respond to any maritime emergencies.

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