HONOLULU—The U.S. Coast Guard conducted a long-range medevac of a mariner in distress from a fishing vessel in a remote region of the South Pacific Tuesday.
Watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a call from the vessel agent, Tri Marine Group, requesting assistance in transporting a crewmember to emergency medical services. A 36-year-old Panamanian man aboard the fishing vessel Cape Elizabeth III was reportedly suffering symptoms of appendicitis.
At 2:05pm, JRCC launched an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point. After a six-hour flight of about 3,065 miles, the Hercules crew landed on Kanton Island where they met the patient. The patient was transferred by a helicopter from the Cape Elizabeth III’s sister ship, Cape Horn, to Kanton Island.
The Hercules crew flew the patient to Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa at 10:35pm where they were met by emergency medical services. He was then taken by ambulance to LBJ Tropical Medical Center for further treatment.
The 14th Coast Guard District encompasses an area of 12.2 million square miles of the central and south Pacific. Coast Guard aircraft based in Hawaii frequently travel thousands of miles in response to search and rescue and other calls for assistance.
The Hercules is scheduled to be replaced by the HC-130J, which will bring increased capabilities to Coast Guard response across the Pacific. (USCG)