Coast Guard medevacs injured merchant crewman off Bermuda

U.S. Coast Guard HH-60 rescue helicopter

USCG file photo

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – The Coast Guard medavaced an injured crewmember off the Turkish flagged merchant vessel Askabat approximately 400 miles northeast of Bermuda, Thursday morning.

The 31-year-old male chief officer of the vessel broke his arm and was bleeding heavily from an open wound, according to the notification from the Rescue Co-ordination Centre Bermuda at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday.

A HC-130J Hercules aircraft and a MH-60T Jayhawk rescue helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City were launched Wednesday morning to assist in the recovery of the injured man. Due to the distance involved, both assets landed in Bermuda to refuel.

Hazardous weather conditions of 40-50 mph winds and 12-15 foot seas kept the aircraft grounded throughout the night, and the medevac was postponed until the Thursday morning.

At approximately 5:40 a.m. Thursday, the helicopter crew hoisted the chief officer from the vessel and flew the injured man to waiting Emergency Medical Service personnel in Bermuda for treatment.

“What went really well was the excellent coordination between Bermuda RCC Rescue Co-ordination Center, Coast Guard District Five, Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Air Station Elizabeth City personnel to effect the rescue despite changing, challenging weather conditions and changes to the timeline of the rescue itself,” said Lt. Greg Dahl, a MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter pilot from Air Station Elizabeth City. “Coast Guard personnel and the personnel at the airport assisted with a couple maintenance issues we had … The coordination between all the people involved made it successful. Everyone worked very well together.”

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