Coast Guard medevacs sick diver

Ninth CG District Logo - D9
CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard conducted an emergency medical evacuation of a sick diver from a diving vessel operating in Northern Lake Huron, late Thursday morning.

At about 11:45 a.m., a Coast Guard boarding team from Coast Guard Station Alpena, Mich., aboard a 25-foot Response Boat-Small started a boarding and safety inspection of the dive vessel Black Dog, a documented commercial dive vessel in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, near Alpena. The master of the vessel reported he had a sick diver, a 54-year-old man, aboard and requested the medevac. The diver had just resurfaced from a 230-foot dive in Lake Huron and was vomiting, and experiencing tingling of his extremities and blockage of the ear.

Search-and-rescue controllers at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie, Mich., held a conference call with SAR controllers in command center at the Coast Guard 9th District in Cleveland, and an on-call flight surgeon concerning the requested medevac. The flight surgeon recommended the medevac, so the boarding team assisted the ill man aboard the 25-foot RB-S and transported him to awaiting emergency medical technicians at Presque Isle Marina.

The EMS transferred the man to the Alpena Regional Medical Center, since it has a hyperbaric chamber. The Divers Alert Network was also contacted to report the diving incident.

The condition of the man is unknown at this time.

“The boarding team seamlessly transitioned from law enforcement operations to rescue duties, when they unexpectedly came across a stricken diver during a boarding,” said Cmdr. Marko Broz, deputy commander, Sector Sault Ste Marie. “This case also highlights the excellent coordination the Coast Guard had with local EMS, who were already waiting on shore, to ensure the diver was transported to advanced medical care as fast as possible.”

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