Coast Guard medevacs Russian man from cruise ship 200 nautical miles south of Kodiak

KODIAK, Alaska – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak conducted a medevac of a 26-year-old Russian man from the 780-foot Netherlands-flagged Holland America cruise ship Amsterdam Wednesday evening approximately 200 nautical miles south of Kodiak.

Search and rescue controllers at the 17th Coast Guard District command center in Juneau received a phone call from the cruise ship’s doctor requesting the medevac for a passenger suffering from pancreatitis and abdominal distress. The vessel was en route to Vancouver and was 265 nautical miles south of Kodiak at the time of the call.

The Coast Guard launched the rescue helicopter crew at 5:30 p.m. once the cruise ship’s crew had adjusted course and had moved closer to Kodiak within range of the helicopter’s limits. Due to the distance offshore an HC-130 Hercules aircraft and crew were also launched from Kodiak to assist with communications and provide a self rescue capability to the helicopter crew.

The rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene with the cruise ship at about 6:55 p.m. and hoisted the patient aboard. They swiftly returned to Kodiak and transferred the man to an awaiting LifeMed plane for further transport to Anchorage at about 9:35 p.m.

Weather conditions on scene were 30 mph winds with 10 miles of visibility and snow showers.

This case followed right on the heels of the rescue of four crewmen from the sunk fishing vessel Northern Belle 50 miles south of Montague Island in the Gulf of Alaska and the medevac of a crewman with severe abdominal distress from the fishing vessel Sea Fisher 170 miles north of Dutch Harbor both of which occurred Tuesday and were conducted by Air Station Kodiak aircrews.

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