Coast Guard medevacs ailing fisherman 170 miles northwest of St. Paul Island, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska NewsKODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed in Cold Bay, Alaska, medevaced an ailing fisherman from the fishing vessel Northern Leader 170 miles northwest of St. Paul Island Wednesday morning.

The Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the fisherman aboard the helicopter and transported him to awaiting commercial medical flight services in St. Paul.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received a request from Health Force Partners in Seattle that a 22-year-old man aboard Northern Leader was ill and needed a medevac. The duty flight surgeon and search and rescue mission coordinator reviewed the man’s medical condition and ordered an immediate medevac.

Air Station Kodiak launched a HC-130 Hercules airplane crew which included a back-up Jayhawk helicopter crew to the Cold Bay forward operating location to serve as a staged rescue asset for the primary crew responding to the case. Accompanied by the Hercules airplane crew, the deployed Jayhawk crew successfully conducted the hoist from the Northern Leader.

“This was a tremendous distance to reach the distressed fisherman which is why we had to deploy a Hercules airplane crew and stage a back-up crew in Cold Bay to assist in this case,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tad Drozdowski, watchstander, Coast Guard 17th District. “The Hercules crew flew cover for the Jayhawk helicopter crew, providing enhanced communication and a self-rescue capability, while they hoisted the mariner.”

Weather on scene was reported as 10 miles visibility and 20 mph winds.

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