Deck Watch learns about community service projects in Barrow

This week Deck Watch talks to Chief Petty Officer Richard Whitney about community service projects being performed by communications watchstanders in Barrow, Alaska. To listen to the interview, click here.

In other Coast Guard news:

Aug. 16 – Coast Guard crew rescue two plane crash survivors and five hikers in Southeast Alaska last Thursday. Coast Guard search and rescue watchstanders received a satellite emergency signal late Thursday afternoon, while simultaneously receiving reports of a mayday broadcast from a plane reporting that they had crashed. The crews of the cruise ship Carnival Spirit and an Allen Marine tour boat responded to the downed plane in the waters of Tracy Arm south of Juneau, and found two people sitting on one of the floats of the partially submerged plane. The responding good Samaritans remained with the two people until a Coast Guard Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crew arrived on scene within an hour and rescued the individuals. Both were taken to Juneau with no reported injuries. The plane, a small red and yellow Glasair, reportedly crashed when one of its two floats failed while landing. Earlier that day, Coast Guard watchstanders received a request from Alaska State Troopers to help rescue five hikers who were stranded more than 4,500 feet up Mount Bassie near Sitka. A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was launched to assess the situation and see if they could safely hoist the five people from the mountain. If a direct rescue was not possible, plans were developed with Sitka Mountain Rescue to transport a team to the base of the mountain and conduct a ground rescue. The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene with the hikers around 1:45 p.m. where they found the people on a ridge in a location where a hoist rescue was not possible. However, the crew was able to talk with the hikers via radio and direct them to another area where a rescue could be safely performed. While the hikers changed locations, the helicopter crew returned to Sitka, refueled, and then returned to the mountain. All five hikers were safely hoisted up from a ridge and transferred to Sitka at around 3:30 p.m. The crashed plane was marked with a strobe light and the owner is responsible for making arrangements to salvage the aircraft. It was reportedly caring up to 18 gallons of fuel; however, no signs of pollution were reported.

Aug. 19 – The Coast Guard, National Park Service, and Good Samaritans assisted 76 people from a sightseeing vessel taking on water in Glacier Bay, Sunday. The Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and the Holland America cruise ship Volendam responded to a report from the 79-foot sightseeing vessel Baranof Wind after it reportedly struck a rock and started taking on water in Glacier Bay. The Coast Guard launched an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew with a dewatering pump and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa to assist the Baranof Wind crew. The Volendam crew transferred 70 people from the Baranof Wind to their vessel, two people were taken aboard a National Park Service boat and four crewmembers remained aboard the Baranof Wind to maintain pumps and to ensure it stays afloat. The Baranof Wind reports that the flooding has been contained and an anchor was deployed to help stabilize the vessel. There are no reports of pollution at this time. Coast Guard Sector Juneau is sending response personnel to investigate the cause of the grounding and pollution potential. They are also working with Allen Marine to develop a towing plan to deliver the Baranof Winds to Sitka, Alaska. The crew of the Volendam will transport the Baranof Winds passengers to Bartlett Cove where they will be transferred to another Allen Marine vessel and returned to Juneau.

Aug. 21 – A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka aircrew medevaced a female passenger from a cruise ship in Frederick Sound, north of Admiralty Island, Alaska, Tuesday. The 17th Coast Guard District Command Center received a request at 1:39 a.m. for a medevac from the cruise ship Diamond Princess for an 81-year-old female, showing signs of a possible blocked artery in her right leg. After a second medical exam, conducted by the cruise ship medical personnel, showed no signs of improvement, the command center watchstanders directed the launch of the Sitka-based MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew. The helicopter crew arrived on scene with the cruise ship at 4:28 a.m. where they safely hoisted the women from the ship. The aircrew then transported her to Juneau where she was transferred at 5:11 a.m. to a Guardian Flight to Seattle for advanced medical care.

 Aug. 23 – Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrews conducted two medevacs of mariners reportedly suffering from heart attack symptoms in the waters of western Alaska Wednesday. Watchstanders with the 17th Coast Guard District command center first received a report Tuesday morning that a crewmember was experiencing heart attack symptoms aboard the 308-foot, Netherlands-flagged motor vessel BBC Denmark, located about 585 miles southwest of Dutch Harbor. The BBC Denmark crew began closing their distance to Adak Island to facilitate a medevac by an Air Station Kodiak MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew off the Coast Guard Cutter Munro. The vessel approached Adak Island overnight and the Dolphin crew safely hoisted the ailing 48-year-old mariner Wednesday at 10 a.m. After the hoist, the helicopter crew transported the patient to Adak for further transport aboard a commercial aircraft to Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Shortly after the completion of the day’s first medevac, 17th District watchstanders received a second report of a mariner suffering from heart attack symptoms. This report came from the 865-foot container ship APL China. Coast Guard communications watchstanders directed the APL China crew to head east, and an Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched to rendezvous with the vessel at 1:45 p.m. The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at 6:34 p.m. and safely hoisted the 54-year-old mariner into the helicopter, then transported the man to a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane waiting for him at Sand Point for further transport to Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Both patients were listed in stable condition at the time of transfer to emergency medical personnel.