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Coast Guard medevacs fisherman in Southeast Alaska

Date: Aug. 05, 2013 US Coast Guard 17th District

JUNEAU, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced an injured fisherman from a fishing vessel 92 miles southeast of Sitka, Monday.

The Jayhawk crew safely hoisted the 21-year-old man, reportedly suffering from injuries to his hand and arm, from the 54-foot fishing vessel Jerilyn and transported him to Sitka. The man was transferred to emergency medical personnel and taken to Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for additional treatment.

Coast Guard 17th District Command Center watchstanders received a request for the medevac from the master of the Jerilyn Monday morning stating the fisherman had been injured while using a winch aboard the vessel. The watchstanders consulted the duty flight surgeon who recommended the medevac and then directed the launch of the Jayhawk crew.

The crew rendezvoused with the fishing vessel, safely hoisted the injured man and returned to Sitka.

"This case illustrates the importance of having our hoist-capable Coast Guard helicopters available to respond during peak fishing seasons," said Master Chief Petty Officer James Armstrong, a Coast Guard 17th District Command Center watchstander. "Our helicopter crew was able to get on scene and provide assistance in significantly less time than it would have taken the vessel to transit to Craig."

Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reported as 5 mph winds and 1-foot seas. The Jerilyn is homeported in Hydaburg.

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