Coast Guard Medevacs Diver South of Fire Island Inlet

NEW YORK–The Coast Guard medevaced a diver reportedly suffering decompression sickness aboard a charter dive vessel about eight miles south of Fire Island Inlet, N.Y., at 3:30 p.m. today.

Coast Guard Station Jones Beach received a call at about 2:30 p.m. from the vessel Loch Ness after a 53 year-old male was unable to move his arms and legs after resurfacing from a dive. A doctor on board the Loch Ness made an initial determination that the man was experiencing decompression sickness and requested a Coast Guard medevac.

A Station Jones Beach rescue crew met the Loch Ness at approximately 6.5 miles southeast of Jones Inlet at 3:20 p.m. and transported the diver and the doctor to station Jones Beach.

While onboard the Coast Guard vessel, Petty Officer 1st Class Tim Waterbury and Fireman Rick Carbone, who have had previous medical training, checked the diver’s vital signs. The man refused oxygen and water from the rescue crew.

A Nassau County Police Department helicopter waited at the Coast Guard station to take the diver to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, but the diver signed a medical waiver form with a Nassau County flight surgeon declining further treatment and left the station.

“A doctor aboard the charter vessel Loch Ness was concerned enough about this diver’s condition to request Coast Guard assistance,” said Lt. Doug Miller, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command duty watch officer. “Ultimately, each person is responsible for managing their own medical care, and even though a doctor on the charter vessel and a Nassau County flight surgeon both recommended this diver seek medical treatment, the diver chose to disagree and left the station.”

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