Coast Guard medically evacuates crewmember from freighter in Lake Superior

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — A rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., medically evacuated a crewmember from a 634-foot bulk freighter about 12 miles south of Isle Royale, Mich., Tuesday afternoon.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., received notification of the ill crewmember aboard the motor vessel Sam Laud from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton, Ontario, at about 1 p.m., EDT.

“It was determined that a U.S. Coast Guard crew was best suited to respond,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Juston Wilcox, a search and rescue controller with Sector Sault Ste. Marie. “This is the kind of case that shows how well we work with our Canadian counterparts; it’s a partnership that enables us to get help to people in trouble on the Great Lakes as fast as we can.”

After consulting with a flight surgeon, a medical consultant who makes the final determination on what warrants emergency evacuation, the Traverse City-based aircrew was directed to launch aboard an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter. They arrived on scene, about 30 miles from the Keweenaw Peninsula, at about 4:30 p.m., EDT. The crew was able to safely airlift the sick individual. He was transferred to waiting emergency medical services and transported to Portage Health in Hancock, Mich.

His current condition is unknown.

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