Coast Guard responds to unconscious fisherman east of Chatham

Coast Guard District 1 NewsBOSTON — The Coast Guard medically evacuated an unconscious fisherman 114 miles east of Chatham, Mass., Monday at approximately 8:00 a.m.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a relayed report at 5:20 a.m. from the fishing vessel Sao Paulo stating that the 62-year-old master of the 81-foot fishing vessel Virginia Sands, homeported in New Bedford, Mass., had collapsed and was unconscious.

The Virginia Sands crewmembers performed CPR on the man until he began breathing with a weak pulse.

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew immediately launched and hoisted the man.

He was taken to Barnstable Municipal Airport-Boardman/Polando Field in Hyannis, Mass., and transferred to Cape Cod Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

“For this to happen during the holiday season is especially tragic,” said Lt. Joe Klinker, 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. “These cases are never easy for anyone and our prayers and thoughts go out to the captain’s family and friends.”

With roughly 20,000 commercial fishing vessels in the northeastern U.S., and a dangerous season still ahead, the Coast Guard encourages fleets to prepare for the unexpected.

“Traditionally, people think of lifesaving equipment as lifejackets and survival suits”, said Ted Harrington, 1st Coast Guard District fishing vessel safety coordinator. “But oftentimes it’s medical equipment and emergency training that can give a crewmember added time for an opportunity to survive.”

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