The Coast Guard says they’ve completed a long-distance medevac of a freighter crewman who suffered injuries from a fall aboard the vessel.
Lieutenant JG Alaina Sagan of the Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau says that two H-60 helicopters and a C-130 aircraft participated in the day-long operation off Adak on Wednesday.
With a spare C-130 flight crew and four additional helicopter crews riding along during the trip out the Aleutian Chain, Sagan estimates that as many as 50 Coast Guardsmen were all in the air at one time.
The extra fliers were needed so that crews could swap out for rest during the long mission.
A 21-year old Italian crewman fell 75 feet from the smokestack of the freighter Cinzia d’Amato as part of an apparent suicide attempt on Tuesday. The young man reportedly suffered serious injuries, including facial lacerations, an open wrist fracture, dislocated shoulder, and possible internal injuries.
The 738-foot freighter was roughly 370 miles off Adak and on its way from Japan to San Francisco when the accident occurred. The Coast Guard had the freighter maneuver to within 140 miles of Adak so that they could send a helicopter to hoist him aboard.
Sagan says forecasted weather conditions in the area included 18-foot seas, and 40 knot winds with 50 knot gusts. In addition, the helicopters arrived on scene and performed the hoist about 9 o’clock Wednesday night, in the dark.
The crewman was in stable condition when he was later transferred to a commercial medevac flight in Adak.
The C-130 returned to Kodiak Wednesday night. The H-60’s will make their way back Thursday.