Video: USCG Medevacs Fisherman Injured by Hatch Accident in Bering Sea

Constellation (file image courtesy O'Hara)

Published Feb 1, 2022 8:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an injured crewmember from a fishing vessel near St. Paul, Alaska.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard's 17th District command center in Juneau received the request for a medevac from the master of a fishing vessel at 1945 hours on Sunday. The master reported that a hatch had closed on a crewmember's arm, resulting in serious injury. On-scene conditions at the time of the call were typical for the Bering Sea in January, including 40-knot wind gusts and 10-foot seas.

The command center decided that the medevac was necessary and made plans to launch a helicopter crew out of Cold Bay, along with a C-130 aircraft crew out of Kodiak for backup. 

On Monday morning, a Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew departed Cold Bay and rendezvoused with the fishing vessel Constellation just outside of St. Paul's harbor. At about 0930, the aircrew hoisted the man aboard and delivered him to St. Paul Health Center. The medical staff later transferred him to a Guardian Flight aircraft crew, who took him to Anchorage for further care.

“We have an aircrew operating out of Cold Bay this time of year specifically for situations like this,” said Chief Petty Officer Bobbi East, 17th District command duty officer for the case. “Thanks to the cooperation among various Coast Guard crews from Air Station Kodiak and the 17th District, along with the crew aboard Constellation, the staff at St. Paul Health Center, and the Guardian Flight aircrew, this man will receive the medical care he needs in Anchorage.”

Constellation is a 165-foot converted catcher-processor based out of Seattle, and she is active in the Alaska groundfish fishery.