Coast Guard medevacs two passengers over holiday weekend

KODIAK, Alaska – The Coast Guard successfully medevaced two patients from cruise ships in Alaskan waters during Memorial Day weekend.

At 7:50 p.m. Saturday the Spirit of Columbia requested a medevac for a 60-year-old woman who was suffering from a possible heart attack. The cruise ship was in the vicinity of Whittier, Alaska when the Coast Guard received the request.

At 7:55 p.m., a 25-foot Response Boat-Small from Coast Guard Station Valdez was launched with an emergency medical technician aboard to assist the patient. The boat crew safely took the patient aboard at 8:56 p.m. and transported her to Whittier where the patient was transferred to local emergency medical technicians for further treatment.

On Monday the Silver Shadow notified the Coast Guard that a 58-year-old man was bleeding internally and in need of medical treatment. The ship’s doctor conducted a conference call with the Coast Guard flight surgeon and it was determined that the man’s symptoms warranted a medevac as soon as possible.

A Coast Guard helicopter launched from Air Station Kodiak at 3:10 p.m. and located the ship south of Cold Bay, Alaska at 6:10 p.m. A rescue swimmer was lowered to the cruise ship who secured the patient into a litter. The man was safely hoisted into the helicopter and delivered the victim to emergency life flight services in Sand Point, Alaska at 8:12 p.m.

“There was great communication between us and the cruise ship’s doctor,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Erik Pointer, Air Station Kodiak rescue swimmer. “The doctor had everything written down and we evaluated the patient before we hoisted him into the helicopter. All in all, it was a smooth medevac.”

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