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Coast Guard Medevacs Crew Member From Barge South of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN — The crew of a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter medevaced a crewmember from a 400-foot accommodation barge Monday, approximately 140 nautical miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Juan received a call from the DP Superior Performance barge reporting a medical emergency for a 46-year-old crewmember who was experiencing possible cardiac distress and required specialized medical care ashore.  At the time of the medical emergency, the tugboat Crosby Leader was towing the barge on a voyage from Brazil to the United States of America.

Coast Guard watchstanders directed the launch of an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Borinquen to conduct the medevac. Upon arriving on scene, the helicopter crew lowered their rescue swimmer, along with a rescue basket, who worked with the crew to secure patient and hoist him aboard the aircraft.

The Coast Guard helicopter transported the patient to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where awaiting Emergency Medical Service personnel received and transported him to the Pavia Hospital in San Juan.

“The crew was put together on extremely short notice, however everyone did their part to ensure a successful outcome despite the challenging conditions,” said Lt. Shea Smith, Coast Guard MH-60T aircraft commander for the case. “This goes to show the importance of standardization within the aviation community. It was a great case with an excellent outcome. We are happy we could help a fellow mariner in distress get to a higher level of care.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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