Coast Guard safely delivers three to Anchorage following medevac 200 miles offshore

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Three injured Indian crewmen arrived safely in Anchorage at about 7 p.m. today after Coast Guard rescue crews flew more than 1800 combined miles to conduct their medical evacuation from a chemical oil tanker 200 miles South of Adak Island, Alaska.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules airplane flew from Kodiak to Adak Sunday while the vessel headed north to close the distance the aircraft would be required to fly offshore.

“The hoists were conducted 200 miles offshore,” said Lt. Cmdr. M. Scott Jackson, aircraft commander MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. “We were at the limits of our range based on fuel requirements. The original plan was to conduct it 80 miles offshore, but the weather conditions prevented the vessel from closing the distance as quickly as we had hoped.”

The men were safely hoisted into the helicopter Monday at about 12:30 p.m. in 35 mph winds, 25-foot seas and snow showers. They were then flown to Adak for further transport to Anchorage aboard the Coast Guard C-130 where they arrived safely at Elmendorf Air Force Base and were transferred in stable condition by Coast Guard flight crews and Anchorage Fire Department paramedics to ambulances. They were taken to Providence Hospital.

“These were challenging hoists because the vessel was heaving in 25 foot waves and killer winds,” said Jackson.

The Coast Guard received a phone call Saturday around 4:15 p.m. from the master of the 478-foot tanker Bum Chin requesting a medevac for the men. The Bum Chin crew was able to stabilize the crewmen aboard the vessel after they sustained injuries in heavy weather. The vessel took a rogue wave that swept the three crew members from the decks into the superstructure and railing. The chief officer sustained head injuries, an able seaman sustained a compound fracture of his left leg, wounds to his forehead and left hand, and the fifth engineer sustained injuries to his left leg, lower back and his left chest.

The Chinese-flagged vessel was en route from Ulsan, South Korea, to San Francisco. The vessel has resumed its previous course. The South Korean port of Ulsan lies 43 miles north of Busan facing the Sea of Japan.

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