Coast Guard airlifts ailing fisherman

BOSTON – A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted a 45-year-old fisherman who was experiencing chest pains from a Rhode Island-based fishing vessel about 180 miles southeast of Cape Cod today.

The crewman from the 77-foot trawler Mary Elena, is in stable condition and is being transported to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass.

Canadian Coast Guard personnel contacted the U.S. Coast Guard First District Command Center staff about 11:30 a.m., today after U.S. radios failed to pick up the calls for help from the Mary Elena.

Canadian personnel relayed messages about the crewman’s condition from the fishing vessel to the command center staff.

“We decided to launch the Falcon first to establish communications, and shortly after we decided to launch the helicopter,” said Lt. Engrid Elso, a command center watch stander.

An airborne Falcon jet based at Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., diverted from a nearby patrol to fly cover and provide communications with the Mary Elena until an additional Falcon took over. A jayhawk helicopter from the air station launched as well, airlifted the crewman and took him to Hyannis Airport where EMS were waiting to take him to the hospital.

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