Coast Guard Provides Medical Assistance to Commercial Fisherman off Beaufort, N.C.

FORT MACON, N.C. – A Coast Guard flight surgeon was airlifted Sunday night to a commercial fishing vessel 30 nautical miles south of Beaufort, N.C., in order to provide medical assistance to an injured crewmember.

At 8:07 p.m. the crew of the 35-foot fishing boat Shelley notified watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Fort Macon, N.C., that a 40-year-old crewman suffered a laceration to his shin.

The Air Station Elizabeth City-based flight surgeon was consulted about the injury and recommended that the man be transported back to shore via a small rescue boat, which Coast Guard Station Fort Macon launched. After the small boat met the fishing vessel en route to Beaufort, the Coast Guard crew reported that the cut was to the crewman’s chin and neck, not his shin.

The flight surgeon was updated on the injured man’s condition and recommended that the crewmember be medevaced via helicopter. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was launched from Air Station Elizabeth City at 11 p.m. with the surgeon on board. After rendezvousing with the Shelley at 11:38 p.m., the surgeon and the helicopter’s rescue swimmer were lowered to the fishing vessel’s deck. The surgeon determined that the condition of the crewman prevented his being transferred by helicopter, and he recommended that the patient return to shore on the Shelley itself.

The flight surgeon remained on board the fishing vessel, started an IV on the crewman, and stabilized his condition. The Shelley arrived at Fort Macon at 1:55 a.m. Monday, where an emergency medical team was awaiting the vessel’s arrival. The EMTs transported the patient to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, N.C., where he is reportedly in stable condition.

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