Coast Guard Medevacs Man from Fishing Vessel

NEW YORK–A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 46-year old man, struck in the back of the neck by heavy fishing equipment and suffering chest pains and experiencing difficulty breathing, from a fishing vessel 46 miles southeast of Sandy Hook, N.J., at 11 a.m. today.

The master of the New Bedford, Mass.,-based fishing vessel Dona Martita radioed Coast Guard Sector New York at about 7:30 am. Sector New York and the First District Command Center in Boston consulted a Coast Guard Flight Surgeon who recommended a medevac.

The Coast Guard Cutter Willow, a 225-foot buoy tender home ported in Newport, R.I., was diverted from routine patrol nearby and arrived on scene shortly before 9:00 a.m. A Willow medical team transferred to the 160-foot Dona Martita and placed a neck brace on the fisherman and secured him to a backboard for the medevac.

A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City HH-65 Dolphin helicopter launched at 9:45 a.m. and arrived within 35 minutes. The air crew hoisted the man safely into the helicopter at 11:04 a.m. He was conscious and appeared to be breathing fine.

Due to reduced visibility and severe weather the Coast Guard helicopter crew landed at the Monmouth County Executive Airport in Belmar, N.J., at 11:35 a.m. instead of making the full trip to Air Station Atlantic City. Awaiting emergency medical personnel took him to the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, N.J.

“Commercial fishing is considered one of the most dangerous jobs anyone can perform and accidents at sea do happen,” said Michelle Krupa, Coast Guard Sector New York command duty officer. “It’s how all involved respond to these emergencies that make a difference in someone’s life. The Dona Martita’s master, a Coast Guard cutter crew and a Coast Guard helicopter crew worked flawlessly to get this fisherman the professional medical treatment he needed.”

Weather on scene was seven-foot to eight-foot seas and 27-knot winds. Visibility was reported at 300 feet.

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