Coast Guard performs 2 medevacs in southeast Alaska

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Air Station Sitka MH-60 FIle Photo

JUNEAU, Alaska— Two Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews medevaced two distressed boaters in unrelated cases, Friday morning.

A 67-year-old male crewmember was hoisted from the tug Justine Foss 62 miles south of Yakutat and transferred to a Security Aviation aircrew in Sitka.

The master of the pleasure craft Alaska Song was hoisted in Chatham Strait near Angoon and transferred to awaiting emergency medical services.

Coast Guard Seventeenth District watchstanders received a report from Health Force Partners that a crewmember on the tug Justine Foss was suffering from a possible detached retina. Watchstanders briefed the duty flight surgeon, who recommended a medevac within six hours, and transferred the case to Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders who requested the launch of a Jayhawk crew.

Sector Juneau watchstanders also received a report from the crew of the pleasure craft Alaska Song that the master of the vessel had suffered a heart attack while anchored in Takatz Bay near Baranof Island. The crew reported that the master had been treated by an onboard cardiologist but was in unstable condition. Watchstanders diverted the Jayhawk crew responding to the tug Justine Foss and requested the recall and launch of a second Jayhawk crew.

Due to low visibility and ceiling, the Jayhawk crew was unable to hoist the master of the Alaska Song from the anchored location. Sector Juneau watchstanders contacted the crew of the good Samaritan vessel Sea Lion to transport the man to Chatham Strait.

“Maritime emergencies are not predictable; we know that accidents and injuries can happen at any time. Our aircrews and ground support personnel take pride in being ready to respond at a moment’s notice and we train to handle these difficult scenarios” said Commander Mo Murphy, Operations Officer at Air Station Sitka. “With the outstanding help from the crews of the Sea Lion and Justine Foss, we were able to quickly transport these men to medical care.”

The weather on scene in Chatham strait was reported as 12-mph winds and 1-foot seas.

The weather on scene in south of Yakutat was reported as 15-mph winds and 6-8-foot seas.

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