Coast Guard weekly news highlights across Alaska

Alaskan Coast Guard units were busy this past week. Here’s a look at what happened.

Aug. 31 – Medical personnel from the Haines Clinic called the Coast Guard requesting a medevac for a patient experiencing shock due to a motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon. Commercial services could not get in until civil twilight because the runway is not lit. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon was briefed and recommended the medevac. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched out of Sitka, picked up the patient and transported her to the AERO hangar where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

Aug. 31 – Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Anchorage command center received a call from the Alaska State Troopers out of Seldovia reporting the 21-foot white and tan pleasure craft Let’s Get Lost with three people aboard was taking on water in Kachemak Bay Sunday. The watchstanders advised the pleasure craft crew to shoot a flare to alert vessels in the area to their position. The vessel had lost all battery power and the crew had only a cell phone for communication. The pleasure craft Prospector crew responded with in 20 minutes and towed the Let’s Get Lost to Homer.

Aug. 1 – Sector Juneau received a call via VHF-FM Channel 16 from the crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System Ferry Kennicott reporting a 62-year-old man aboard suffering from a possible heart attack Monday. An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk crew was launched to respond. The crew arrived on scene, conducted a hoist of the patient and safely returned to Sitka. The patient, in stable condition, was transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel.

Aug. 1 – Under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, a law enforcement team from the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro boarded a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel, a 72-foot tuna long-liner targeting sharks, on the high-seas Monday. They conducted an inspection of the vessel’s catch, fishing gear and all relevant documentation to ensure it was operating in compliance with conservation and management measures adopted by the WCPFC. The vessel’s master was cited for violations of conservation and management measures related to record keeping, seabird mitigation and retention of shark fins. The vessel has since returned to fishing and the responsibility for investigating the violations has been handed over to the Taiwanese government.

Aug. 2 – While on routine patrol in the Pacific Ocean the crew of the Kodiak-based Coast Guard Cutter Munro discovered a 30-foot Japanese vessel unmanned and adrift Tuesday. A Munro boarding team confirmed there were no signs of recent activity and reported the stern lines on board tied off to cleats had been severed. The vessel was from Fukushima, Japan, based on documents on board, last dated to November 2010. Personnel at the Japanese search and rescue command center in Tokyo confirmed the vessel was abandoned and was a hazard to navigation. They also verified the owner had passed away in the March 2011 earthquake and the vessel had been set adrift by the tsunami. With the approval of the Japanese search and rescue personnel the crew of Munro subsequently sank the abandoned vessel Wednesday.

Aug. 2 – The Air Station Kodiak operations duty officer received a request from the Kodiak Brown Bear Center, on Camp Island at Karluk Lake 58 miles southwest of Kodiak City, for a medevac of a 58-year-old man suffering from gastrointestinal distress whose condition was deteriorating Tuesday. The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon was consulted and concurred with the medevac. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Kodiak was launched, landed in the grass at the bear center and embarked the patient. They landed returned to the air station and he was taken to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center in stable condition.

Aug. 3 – Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders received a report from an employee aboard the Chevron platform Steelhead of an object resembling an overturned black life raft in Cook Inlet Wednesday. It was too far from the platform for the employee to confirm if it was a life raft, if any people were on it or if any markings were present. The platform personnel sent their own helicopter crew to take a closer look but it could not relocate the object. Searches were conducted by an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 airplane crew and a Civil Air Patrol plane with no signs of distress reported.

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