Coast Guard medevacs man from sailboat

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard medevaced a 67-year old male off of a sailboat near Yaquina Head, Ore., today.

Coast Guard Group North Bend received a call that a man aboard a 34-foot sailboat was in medical distress and needed to be airlifted to a nearby hospital.

A Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Station Depoe Bay, Ore., and an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport, Ore., launched to the scene. Once on scene the helicopter crew found that it would be too risky to lower a rescue swimmer onto the sailboat due to the pitching mast under full sail. The 47-foot motor lifeboat pulled alongside the sailboat and two crewmen aboard were able to jump onto the sailboat to lower the sails. Another man was on board the vessel and was able to maintain course from the tiller while the Coast Guard members lowered the sails.

The helicopter was able to airlift the sick man and transported him to Air Facility Newport where local emergency medical personnel took him to a nearby hospital.

Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay left the two crewmen on board the sailboat to assist the captain who had been sailing for 19 hours. The motor lifeboat was able to escort the sailboat back to Yaquina Bay.

Winds on scene were 30 knots and seas were six to eight feet.

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