Coast Guard crews medevac man with head injury in Gulf of Mexico

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coast Guard rescue helicopter and boat crews medevaced a 36-year-old fisherman suffering from a head injury following a fall Thursday night, 20 miles offshore of Port Aransas.

The captain of the commercial fishing boat Lucky J.J. made a mayday call to the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center at approximately 7:30 p.m., saying one of his crewmembers had just suffered from electric shock while attempting to change a light bulb in the boat’s rigging and subsequently fell to the boat’s deck.

The Command Center dispatched a 45-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas and a crew on an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi to hoist the man from the boat and take him to the hospital.

The helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer down to the deck of the fishing boat through the boat’s rigging and lines and the rescue boat deployed two of its crewmembers aboard the fishing boat to assist with first aid and the hoist. The rescue swimmer and rescue boat crewmembers stabilized the man onto a backboard. The helicopter then hoisted the man aboard the helicopter and transported him to Spohn Memorial Hospital.

“If you’ve watched the movie The Guardian, you would know how difficult a helicopter hoist is from a commercial fishing vessel. Add to that the serious nature of this injury, our main concern was a safe hoist and to get the fisherman to the hospital as quickly as possible,” said Petty Officer Second Class Jon Wall, the hoist operator on the helicopter. “Our teamwork with the Coast Guard boat crew from Port Aransas and the professionalism of the Lucky J. J.’s crew made for a successful operation.”

The fisherman is being treated at Spohn Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

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