KODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews, forward deployed to Cordova, hoisted two passengers from two separate cruise ships during Labor Day weekend.
The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrews safely hoisted and transported both passengers to commercial services for further high medical care.
On Thursday, at 11:26 a.m., Sector Anchorage Command Center personnel received a medevac request from the cruise ship Radiance of the Seas for the passenger who was reportedly suffering a heart attack.
The 72-year-old male passenger and the ship’s nurse were taken to Cordova for a wing-to-wing transfer with a Guardian Flight team, who then transferred the patent to Anchorage.
On Saturday morning at 6:50 a.m., Coast Guard District 17 Command Center watchstanders received a medevac request for an 80-year-old male, reportedly experiencing stroke symptoms, aboard the cruise ship Westerdam.
The cruise ship was approximately 160 nautical miles southeast of Cordova at the time of the request.
At 11:06 a.m., the Air Station Kodiak aircrew took the patient and the ship’s nurse to Cordova and then transferred the man to an awaiting Airlift Northwest Commercial Medevac crew.
“Our partnerships with medical flight agencies is critical in a large state like Alaska,” said Lt. Steven Podmore, Air Station Kodiak pilot. “Not only do they provide an immediate higher level of care on board their aircraft, they also get the patients to the hospital faster while leaving time for our SAR crews to prepare for the next mission.”
In the summer months, the concentration of fishing activity and tourism in Prince William Sound make Cordova a critical base of operations for search and rescue.