Coast Guard to medevac three from tanker south of Adak

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Coast Guard aircraft launched from Kodiak, Alaska, today will cover more than 900 miles from Kodiak to Adak Island, Alaska, to conduct a medical evacuation of three crewmen reported to have suffered injuries aboard a tanker approximately 700 miles south of Adak Island.

The Coast Guard received a phone call Saturday around 4:15 p.m. from the master of the 478-foot chemical oil tanker Bum Chin requesting a medevac for the men. The Bum Chin crew was able to stabilize the three Indian nationals aboard the vessel after they sustained injuries in heavy weather. One man reportedly suffered a broken leg, one a head injury and the third injuries to his left leg and lower back.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules airplane are currently en route from Air Station Kodiak to Adak Island. Monday at approximately 4 p.m., the MH-60 Jayhawk and the HC-130 crews plan to be on scene to conduct the medevac about 80 miles off Adak Island with the Bum Chin and return to Adak. The patients will then be transferred to a Life Flight Air Ambulance and flown to Anchorage to receive medical care.

“These types of rescues present added challenges in Alaska due to the vast distances and ominous weather conditions,” said Capt. Michael Inman,” chief of response division for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District. “Our rescue crews are routinely charged with overcoming these obstacles while meeting all mission requirements including safe return.”

Combined travel of both aircraft will exceed 4,000 miles which is equivalent to flying from St. Louis, Mo., to Dublin, Ireland.

The Chinese-flagged vessel was en route from Busan, South Korea, to San Francisco when the injuries occurred. They are currently headed toward Adak to shorten the distance off shore the aircraft are required to fly.

The patients are reportedly in stable condition at this time.

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