Injured freighter crew rescued by Coast Guard

Three aircraft were sent out Monday for a long-distance medevac of injured freighter crew.

The Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau reported a call about 3 o’clock Monday morning from the 584-foot Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Copacabana. It experienced bad weather, high winds, and possibly a rogue wave in the North Pacific Ocean about 450 miles south of Kodiak. It was heading from Astoria, Oregon, to Kobe, Japan.

An unidentified 56-year old crewman suffered a broken arm and a compound fracture of his right leg. A crewman in his early twenties suffered compound fracture of the left leg and another crewman in his twenties suffered severe facial lacerations.

The vessel approached within 200 miles of Kodiak so it could rendezvous with a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and two H-60 helicopters dispatched from the Kodiak Air Station. The three injured men were hoisted aboard the two helicopters and taken back to Kodiak. The C-130 served as an overhead communications platform and assisted in directing the rescue.

After their arrival in Kodiak about 7 p.m. Monday evening, the injured crewmen were flown to Anchorage by a commercial medevac service.