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Honolulu Coast Guard air crew conducts long-range medevac

By Star Advertiser staff


The Coast Guard conducted a long-range medevac of a 36-year-old mariner on Tuesday, transporting him from a fishing vessel in Kanton Island -- an atoll located in the South Pacific Ocean roughly halfway between Hawaii and Fiji -- to Pago Pago in American Samoa.

Watchstanders at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu received a call for emergency medical services from the vessel agent, Tri Marine Group, requesting assistance in transporting a crewmember--  a Panamanian man aboard the fishing vessel Cape Elizabeth III -- reportedly suffering symptoms of appendicitis.

At 2:05 p.m., the  Joint Rescue Coordination Center  launched an HC-130 Hercules air crew 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 then flew the patient to Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa, and the patient was 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.

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