Sick mariner rescued by Coast Guard, maritime partners

HONOLULU – An 81-year-old mariner is in stable condition after a coordinated medical evacuation between the Coast Guard and the crew of the Horizon Reliance, a vessel registered with the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, Wednesday.

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu received a call at 9:30 a.m. Monday from Coast Guard Pacific Area who received a report that Robert Bourdon, a crewmember aboard the sailing vessel Gallivant, had suffered symptoms of a stroke, approximately 1,265 miles northeast of Oahu.

The Coast Guard flight surgeon was briefed and recommended a medical evacuation. Due to the distance, a Coast Guard asset would not have been able to provide a timely response. Watchstanders searched through the AMVER database and contacted the 800-foot container ship Horizon Reliance, whose crew was approximately 73 miles northwest of the Gallivant crew at the time.

The two-man crew of the Gallivant transferred Bourdon to the Horizon Reliance via small boat, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Monday. Bourdon, along with the owner of the Gallivant and his son, were transiting from California to Hilo.

The Horizon Reliance is scheduled to arrive in Honolulu Thursday. Bourdon will be transferred to emergency medical services for further treatment.

AMVER, sponsored by the United States Coast Guard, is a unique, computer-based, and voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea. With AMVER, rescue coordinators can identify participating ships in the area of distress and divert the best-suited ship or ships to respond.

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