Coast Guard rescues injured freighter crewman off Adak

Cinzia D'Amato
Italian bulk carrier Cinzia d’Amato as photographed in Japan. Photo by Midtail via Google Creative Commons.

Updated story posted on September 12, 2013 at 10:23 am

The Coast Guard says they’ve completed a long-distance medevac of a freighter crewman who suffered injuries from a fall aboard the vessel.

Lt.(jg) Alaina Sagan of the Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau said 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 fifty 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 incident 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 as it was getting dark about 9 o’clock Wednesday night.

The crewman was in stable condition when he was later transferred to a commercial medevac flight in Adak.

The C-130 returned to Kodiak on Wednesday night. The H-60’s will make their way back to base on Thursday.



Original story posted on September 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

The Coast Guard is sending out two aircraft for a long-distance medevac flight to a freighter in the North Pacific after what has been described as a suicide attempt.

Petty Officer Mark Leuchte at the Coast Guard Command Center in Juneau said that five flight crews, aboard a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and an H-60 helicopter, are heading out on Wednesday morning for what could be an all-day rescue effort. The helicopter will likely stop in Dutch Harbor for refueling before continuing on to Adak.

The crew of the 738-foot cargo ship Cinzia d’Amato reported that a 21-year old male Italian crewmember climbed to the top of the ship’s smokestack. He reportedly fell 75-feet to the deck after another crewmember tried to talk him down. Leuchte said the ship, on it’s way from Japan to San Francisco, was about 370-miles southwest of Adak when the crew reported the incident to Japanese authorities about 9 p.m. Alaska time on Tuesday.

The young crewman reportedly suffered serious injuries including facial lacerations, a broken wrist, dislocated shoulder, and possible internal injuries.

The H-60 helicopter will try to hoist the injured crewman from the deck of the freighter is it maneuvers to within 140-miles of Adak. The helicopter will then return to Adak where a commercial medevac flight service will transport the crewman to an Anchorage hospital.

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