Coast Guard medevacs man from Russian research vessel

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Coast Guard medically evacuated a U.K. citizen, Wednesday, at 7:30 a.m., approximately 200-miles west of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center in Miami received notification at approximately 10:00 p.m., Tuesday, from the Geo Arctic, a Russian-flagged seismic survey vessel, that a crewmember onboard was suffering from hernia-like symptoms, 250-miles west of St. Petersburg, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico. After maintaining communication with the Geo Arctic throughout the night, and monitoring 44-year-old Sean Kennedy’s condition onboard, the command center directed the launch of an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, and an H-60 Jayhawk rescue Helicopter from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., at 4:40 a.m., Wednesday.

After the aircrews arrived onscene at 7:00 a.m., crewmembers aboard the Hercules provided support and cover while the Jayhawk crew lowered a rescue swimmer and basket to the deck of the Geo Arctic. After safely transferring Kennedy to the Jayhawk, the aircrews returned to Air Station Clearwater at approximately 9:15 a.m. Upon landing, emergency medical personnel from Pinellas Park Fire Department Rescue 37, and Sunstar Paramedics transferred Kennedy to Largo Medical Center for treatment.

Kennedy’s current condition is unknown.

“We went out about 250-miles to get to him.” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Craig Drew, the flight mechanic aboard the Jayhawk, “We hoisted down the swimmer and basket and were able to get him into the helicopter pretty quickly. We were lucky that it was pretty smooth flying out there, and the patient seemed to be doing well.”

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