Coast Guard overcomes weather, medevacs man suffering with stomach pains

An aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Station Savannah approach a container ship to medevac a man suffering from severe stomach pains, off the coast of Tybee Island, Ga., April 15, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

An aircrew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Station Savannah approach a container ship to medevac a man suffering from severe stomach pains, off the coast of Tybee Island, Ga., April 15, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A commercial ship crewmember suffering severe stomach pains was medevaced by a Coast Guard aircrew from a container ship off the coast of Savannah, Friday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston received the initial report at approximately 10:30 a.m., from the captain of the NYK Constellation, reporting that one of his crewmembers was experiencing severe abdominal pains and was in need of medical evacuation.

An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah was launched aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to assist. Weather conditions were challenging with wind speeds gusting up to 30 knots, but the crew and the pilot aboard the container ship took action to mitigate the environmental risks.

“The speed with which we were able to conduct the medevac was thanks, in large part, to the NYK Constellation’s crew,” said Lt. Hilary Smith, the co-pilot for the rescue. “They were already positioned and ready to go when we arrived on scene making the entire evolution substantially more efficient.”

“One of the harbor pilots came on board the vessel just before we arrived on scene which substantially lessened the complexity of the rescue,” said Lt. Cmdr. Maegan Schwartz, the pilot for the rescue. “He was able to quickly maneuver the ship to give us ideal conditions to hoist the patient, and his presence greatly enhanced our ability to communicate with the crew of the foreign vessel.”

The man was transported to Savannah Memorial Hospital for further care.

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