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Coast Guard medevacs Arctic mariner

October 12th 3:07 pm | Jim Paulin Print this article   Email this article   Create a Shortlink for this article

A Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a 41-year-old male who was suffering from heart attack symptoms Friday approximately 134 nautical miles west of Barrow on board an oil support vessel.

The vessel, Harvey Spirit, spent several weeks in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in June, waiting for sea ice to melt in the Arctic Ocean, before sailing north to support exploratory offshore oil drilling.

The Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the distressed mariner and transferred him to medical services personnel in Barrow at approximately 9:45 a.m.

A Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstander received a report that a crewmember aboard the Harvey Spirit, a 245-foot Shell offshore supply vessel, was suffering from heart attack symptoms and needed assistance.

The command center launched the Coast Guard helicopter crew and alerted the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf to provide support.  The helicopter crew arrived on scene with the Harvey Spirit at 8:40 a.m., safely hoisted the crewmember and transferred him to Barrow to an awaiting medical flight crew to be flown to Anchorage for further medical care.

During the medevac response, the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed aboard the Bertholf, currently patrolling in the Arctic, was transferred to Barrow to as act as a safety back-up search and rescue response crew.

"The flexibility of our crews to quickly respond to this medevac request and ensure the safety of mariners in the Arctic is why we strategically deploy our crews to places like Barrow," said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. "The Coast Guard FOLs have proven to be of invaluable strategic importance in conquering the tyranny of the distance, time, weather and speed challenges the harsh and vast Alaskan operating area provides."

Since July FOL Barrow has conducted seven search and rescue missions that directly resulted in eight lives saved or assisted, including this most recent medevac.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf is the Legend-class National Security Cutter and is the centerpiece of the Coast Guard's fleet, capable of executing the most challenging operations, including supporting maritime homeland security and defense missions.

The NSCs' are the largest and most technologically advanced of the Coast Guard's newest classes of cutters and are replacing the aging 378-foot High Endurance cutters, which have been in service since the 1960s.

Compared to legacy cutters, the NSCs' design provides better sea-keeping and higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and the ability to launch and recover small boats from astern, as well as aviation support facilities and a flight deck for helicopters.

 

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