ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a crewman with a severed finger on his left hand from a container ship south of Cold Bay Friday morning.
According to Coast Guard spokesperson Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, the crew of the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged 855-foot Mare Phoenicium requested the medevac Thursday afternoon.
An Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, which was forward-deployed aboard the cutter Sherman 575 miles away from the Mare Phoenicium, flew to Cold Bay Thursday where its crew waited overnight for the vessel to enter flight range.
The Dolphin launched from Cold Bay at 10:15 a.m. Friday and reached the Mare Phoenicium about an hour later. Crew members hoisted the 62-year-old Montenegrin crewman on board, then flew him back to emergency medical services in Cold Bay.
Coast Guard officials say such joint operations between choppers and cutters are common events.
“Due to the vast area of responsibility of the 17th Coast Guard District we routinely forward deploy Dolphin helicopter crews aboard cutters to help reduce response times for maritime emergencies,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Gauthier, operation specialist with the 17th Coast Guard District command center in Juneau.
The crewman was ultimately transported to Anchorage for treatment.