Coast Guard medevacs crewman near Nunivak Island, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard medevaced a crewman from the fishing vessel Alaska Spirit 58 miles southeast of Nunivak Island Monday.

The Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell’s embarked MH-65 Dolphin helicopter medevaced the 28-year-old man, suffering from a crushed finger, to emergency medical personnel at the clinic in Bethel approximately 115 miles away.

The man was initially brought aboard the cutter Boutwell from the Alaska Spirit by one of the cutter’s small boat crews to be evaluated by the Coast Guard independent duty corpsman who, in consultation with the Coast Guard duty flight surgeon, determined it was necessary to further medevac the man to a higher level of medical care.

“Our embarked helicopters are an essential resource to help injured fishermen operating in remote Alaska,” said Lt. Bernard Auth, a search and rescue controller with the Coast Guard 17th District command center. “Our health care professionals recommended getting the man to a higher level of care within seven hours to have the best chance of restoring functionality to his finger. Our helicopter crew was the best way to do that.”

Weather at the time of the incident was reportedly calm. The Alaska Spirit is a 221-foot fishing vessel based out of Seattle.

The Coast Guard routinely stations a helicopter-equipped cutter in the Bering Sea to provide a search and rescue resource and conduct fisheries enforcement. The cutter Boutwell is a 378-foot high endurance cutter from San Diego. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew is from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak on Kodiak Island.

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