An injured crewman on the 262-foot processing vessel America’s Finest was airlifted by the Coast Guard to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in a coordinated operation including a helicopter from the cutter Alex Haley.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 17th District command center in Juneau received a request for medical evacuation from the America’s Finest at 2:30 a.m., stating the crewman had sustained serious foot injuries 20 miles west of St. George Island.
As the America’s Finest made way toward Dutch Harbor, the command center coordinated the launch of the Haley’s HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, and a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules long-range aircraft from Air Station Kodiak to support the operation.
The aircraft rendezvoused over the America’s Finest about 92 miles northwest of Dutch Harbor, and the helicopter aircrew hoisted the injured man at 12:52 p.m. The patient was flown to Dutch Harbor and taken in care of LifeMed emergency medical personnel.
“So many people contributed to the success of this case,” said Petty Officer 1st class Jeffrey Dickey, a watchstander at the 17th District command center, in a narrative of the rescue released by the Coast Guard.
“Thanks to the communication and continuous cooperation between America’s Finest, Alex Haley, command center personnel and the aircrews we were able to get this individual to a higher level of care.”
Weather at the time of the hoist included 30 mph winds gusting to 40 mph and 15 foot seas, with heavy freezing spray.