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Coast Guard medevacs fisherman near Cold Bay

KODIAK, Alaska — A Kodiak-based MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew medevaced a fisherman from the 314-foot Seattle-based fishing vessel Arctic Storm 63 miles west of Cold Bay Wednesday evening.

Coast Guard District 17 watchstanders received a request from Health Force Partners in Seattle for a medevac of a 52-year-old man reportedly suffering from cardiac distress.

The watchstanders requested the Arctic Storm crew to divert their course to get within range of the helicopter assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley on patrol in the Bering Sea and directed the launch of the helicopter crew. The helicopter crew safely hoisted the patient at 11:44 p.m. from the vessel and delivered him to awaiting emergency medical crews in Cold Bay.

"Due to the coordinated efforts between the watchstanders, fishing vessel, cutter and helicopter crews the Coast Guard was able to successfully transfer the patient to the Cold Bay clinic until commercial services were able to take him for further medical care," said Adam De Rocher, a District 17 search and rescue controller. "Communication between the Coast Guard and mariners plays a vital role in any situation involving the lives of mariners at sea."

The weather at the time of the medevac was reportedly winds of 17 mph with seas of eight feet. The Coast Guard routinely deploys helicopter crews from Kodiak aboard cutters patrolling the Bering Sea to shorten response times to maritime incidents and aid the cutter crew in fisheries enforcement missions.

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