Coast Guard Conducts Daring Medevac 45 Miles Off Northern California Coast, Saves Injured Sailor

Coast Guard Conducts Daring Medevac 45 Miles Off Northern California Coast, Saves Injured SailorSource: U.S. Coast Guard
Eileen Vargas
Published on December 10, 2023

When peril strikes on the high seas, the U.S. Coast Guard jumps into action, as was the case when a man was plucked from the ocean's grasp 45 miles off the coast of Northern California. The Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay executed a pinpoint medevac operation to rescue a 40-year-old male suffering from a serious leg injury aboard the U.S.S. John S. McCain, as reported by the Coast Guard's official news outlet.

The saga began Tuesday afternoon when the U.S.S. John S. McCain, steaming approximately 180 miles west of Santa Barbara, sent out an urgent call for help. The vessel's crew member was in dire need of medical attention. As night fell and the ship made its northward journey, Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay took up the mantle of search and rescue coordinator early Wednesday morning.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from the Coast Guard cut through the sky, launching around 10 a.m. to meet the Navy destroyer out in the Pacific's expanse. The aircrew, in a deft aerial ballet, hoisted the injured sailor through the whipping winds and across the threshold from sea to sky, as detailed by the Coast Guard's press release.

The return trip saw the patient safely delivered to the waiting arms of Eureka's St. Joseph Hospital by 12:25 p.m. The man's condition was stabilized at the hospital, and the specter of further injury was warded off. Thanks to the timely response and expert coordination of the various branches of the U.S. Coast Guard, a life was tended to with proficiency and care. The Coast Guard reports the patient to be in stable condition.