Coast Guard medevacs tournament fisherman off Cape Lookout, N.C.

5th Coast Guard District News
WILMINGTON, N.C.—The Coast Guard responded to a report of a 52-­year-­old man who was having a heart attack off the coast of North Carolina on Monday afternoon.

The man was fishing on the 62-foot sport fishing boat Billfisher approximately 87 miles southeast of Cape Lookout, N.C., when his left side became numb and he began slipping in and out of consciousness.

Sector North Carolina watchstanders here were initially notified of the patient’s condition by officials from the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament at 1:32 p.m.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and at 1:36 p.m. dispatched a 47-­foot Motor Life Boat crew with emergency medical technicians aboard from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon, N.C., to rendezvous with the sport fisher, which began heading toward Beaufort, N.C.

The Coast Guard also launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to assist.

At 3:04 p.m., the MLB met the Billfisher 23 miles off of Beaufort Inlet and transferred two Coast Guard medical personnel aboard the recreational vessel to tend to the victim. Given the proximity to shore, watchstanders determined the safest and quickest alternative was to have the Billfisher continue to Station Fort Macon, where it would be met by additional medical personnel.

The Billfisher arrived at Station Fort Macon at 3:40 p.m., where the patient was transferred via EMS to Carteret General Hospital.

“Our rescue assets are on heightened alert at Fort Macon because of the Big Rock tournament this week, so we were able to get them moving quickly,” said Cmdr. Billy Mitchell, chief of response for Sector North Carolina. “But it is still challenging when an incident like this occurs so far offshore. We were glad to get our medics aboard to assist, and we hope the patient makes a speedy recovery.”

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