Coast Guard Medevacs Vessel Master From Freighter Torm Charlotte

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – A HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew medevaced the vessel master of the Panamanian flag freight ship Torm Charlotte at 9 p.m. Wednesday, approximately 75 nautical miles north of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The vessel master, a Filipino citizen, suffered from a stroke while aboard the 738-foot Torm Charlotte and required immediate medical attention ashore.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Joint Rescue Sub Center controllers received initial notification from the crew of the Torm Charlotte at 4 a.m. Wednesday requesting the medical evacuation of their vessel master onboard. At the time of the incident, the Torm Charlotte was located approximately 300 nautical miles northeast of Puerto Rico as it was transiting from Colombia to the Netherlands.

Coast Guard controllers coordinated with the crew of the Torm Charlotte and launched a HH-65 Dophin rescue helicopter from Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico to rendezvous with the Torm Charlotte and conduct the medical evacuation approximately 75 nautical miles north of Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Once on scene with the Torm Charlotte, the helicopter crew deployed their rescue swimmer aboard the vessel and utilized a litter basket to hoist the patient onto the aircraft. The helicopter crew transported the patient in stable condition to the Centro Medico Hospital in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico where he was transferred to awaiting medical personnel on scene.

“This was a great case, everything went smoothly and according to plan,” said Lt. j.g. Robert Wright, HH-65 Dolphin helicopter first pilot. “Our crew conducted a successful medevac, the coordination and communication with the vessel was excellent, which allowed us to hoist the patient onto the aircraft and transport him to the hospital to receive needed medical care.”

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