Coast Guard medevacs woman from vessel over 40 miles off West Coast

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 file photo

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River MH-60 file photo

ASTORIA, Ore. — A Coast Guard air crew medically evacuated a 32-year-old woman from a vessel over 40 miles northwest of Grays Harbor, Wash., Sunday evening after she reportedly suffered a seizure.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River safely transferred the woman to waiting emergency medical service personnel, who then transported her to Columbia Memorial Hospital for further care.

At 10:23 p.m. a watchstander at Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor in Westport was contacted by a crew member aboard the Bell M. Shimada who reported a woman aboard had sat down on the deck due to being dizzy, suffered a seizure and then temporarily lost consciousness.

The watchstander notified command center personnel at Sector Columbia River, who in a conference call with the duty flight surgeon and captain of the vessel, determined a helicopter hoist was best due to safety concerns and medical needs. A surface transfer would have required the woman climb down a 6-foot ladder alone and, due to the potential seizure, needed to be seen by a neurologist with the next six hours.

Once on scene, the helicopter crew deployed their rescue swimmer, who secured the woman in a stokes litter on deck before the air crew hoisted her from the vessel.

The Bell M. Shimada is a 196-foot Oscar Dyson-class fisheries research vessel operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration out of Newport.

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