Coast Guard medevacs crewmember off bulk freighter 172 miles off Louisiana coast

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HOUSTON — A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 33-year-old crewmember off a bulk freighter, Friday, after he suffered an arm injury following a fall in the bilge of the vessel, 172 miles offshore of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The captain of the 630-foot bulk freighter, Desert Hope, made a distress call to the 8th Coast Guard District Command Center at 4:30 p.m., stating that one of his crewmembers had fallen while working in the bildge and had sustained an injury to his right arm. The Command Center dispatched a Coast Guard Air Station Houston crew aboard a MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter along with an aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi aboard an HU-25 Falcon jet to provide top cover and communications.

The helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer down to the bulk freighter to assess the man’s condition and prepare him for the hoist. The helicopter crew then hoisted the man aboard the helicopter and transported him to the Galveston Airport where they were met by Emergency Medical Services. EMS then transfered him to University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

“Working offshore in the maritime domain is very hazardous and accidents can happen at any time,” said Zack Edwards, the command duty officer at Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center. “Even though it was an extreme distance, thanks to expertise of the pilots at Air Station Houston and Corpus Christi we were able to get the crewmember the medical attention he needed.”

The crewmember is being treated at UTMB and was in stable condition.

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