DUTCH HARBOR, Alaska — A Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter aircrew medevac an injured fisherman Wednesday in the Bering Sea, about 80 miles northeast of Dutch Harbor.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew based out of Air Station Kodiak and deployed aboard Cutter Alex Haley, hoisted the man from the vessel Magnus Martens after he suffered a severe leg injury. He was flown to Cold Bay and placed in the care of awaiting Guardian Flight Alaska personnel for further transport to Anchorage.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, also based out of Kodiak, received initial notification about the injured man while on patrol in the Bering Sea in the vicinity of Unimak Island.
The USCGC Alex Haley crew learned via VHF marine radio at about 11:30 a.m. that the fisherman was injured aboard the fishing vessel, located off the north coast of Unimak Island on Slime Bank.
The man was initially taken to Dutch Harbor to receive care, butneeded to be taken to a higher level of care. The weather at the time did not allow a contracted provider to pick up the injured man in Dutch Harbor, so the Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin Short-Range Recovery (SRR) helicopter aircrew flew him to Cold Bay for the transfer to Guardian Flight care.
Conditions at the time of the hoist included 5-knot winds and 6-foot visibility.
“Due to the range from Dutch Harbor and because the fisherman’s severe injuries required additional time to place him in a rescue litter, the helicopter needed to refuel at sea,» said Lt. Wes Jones, aircraft commander for the case. «Helicopter in-flight refueling is an incredibly demanding and complex maneuver for both the cutter and the aircraft to increase on scene endurance. The combined teamwork of the crew aboard Alex Haley, the Magnus Martens, and the 17th District command center enabled us to get this man on a Guardian Flight aircraft headed to Anchorage to receive the care he needs.”