Coast Guard Aircrew Evacuates Scuba Diver

CATALINA, Calif. – This afternoon, a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles evacuated a 53 year old woman from the Dive Vessel CONCEPTION near San Miguel Island to the Isthmus Hyperbaric Chamber on Catalina Island.

Shortly after noon today, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach received a report of a 53 year old woman who ran out of air while scuba diving. She began “buddy breathing,” a process where two divers share a single air supply, with her partner but was unconscious by the time she reached the surface.

She regained consciousness after the crew of the dive vessel brought her aboard and administrated oxygen.

A Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Air Station Los Angeles, located at Los Angeles International Airport, was dispatched and quickly arrived on scene. The helicopter lowered their rescue swimmer to the D/V CONCEPTION to evaluate the patient. The patient and rescue swimmer were then safely hoisted back to the helicopter and the patient was transferred to medical personnel at the Hyperbaric Chamber located at Isthmus on Catalina Island.

“The whole evolution went very smoothly.” said LT David Middleton, pilot of the helicopter. “Hoisting patients from a moving vessel to a helicopter is a risky evolution. But the aircrew and vessel crew worked extremely well together making for a very safe hoist and transfer to the chamber.”

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