Coast Guard safely medevacs injured fisherman near Kodiak

KODIAK, Alaska –A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Kodiak medevaced an injured crewman from a fishing vessel 34 miles northeast of Kodiak, Alaska, Sunday.

Michael Calahan, 19, was injured when his right arm was pinched in a piece of hydraulic equipment while working aboard the 94-foot fishing vessel Collier Brothers.

The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center in Juneau received a phone call at 7:34 p.m. from a crewman aboard the trawler explaining Calahan was in need of medical assistance.

The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon determined a medevac was the best course of action for the patient based on his reported injuries.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak was launched and arrived at the vessel around 8:41 p.m. The flight mechanic lowered a rescue swimmer and basket to the vessel and was safely hoisted Calahan into the helicopter.

“This was my first rescue as a flight mechanic,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Zachary Atchison, aviation maintenance technician. “It was a challenge with the way the fishing boat was setup with the rigging and cluttered deck. I’m realty glad I was able to help somebody before I left Kodiak.”

The helicopter returned to Air Station Kodiak at 9:18 p.m. where Calahan was transferred to awaiting emergency medical technicians for medical care at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center. His condition was reported as stable.

“It was a case uncharacteristic to Kodiak due to the short distance and the good weather conditions,” said Lt. David Feeney, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot. “From Kodiak most of our medevacs are in bad weather and are great distances off shore. Everything went textbook. It was a great case.”

Weather conditions during the medevac were winds of five mph, five-foot swells and scattered clouds.

The fishing vessel Collier Brother is home ported in Portland, Ore. and was fishing for ground fish.

For a first hand account of this and other rescues by rescue crews, visit “The Alaska Logbook”; the official Coast Guard blog of the 17th Coast Guard District

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