Man Medevacked From Vessel After Eye Injury Near St. Paul
Monday, January 13 2014
The Coast Guard medevacked a fisherman with an eye injury to St. Paul on Friday.
The injured man was aboard the 109-foot fishing vessel Prowler. The ship’s crew called the nearby Coast Guard Cutter Munro to report the injury Friday afternoon. The Prowler was 74 miles southwest of St. Paul at the time.
Coast Guard public affairs officer Shawn Eggert says the injured man reported a piece of jellyfish was stuck between his contact lens and his eye. But Eggert says they're not sure what exactly happened.
"If they were hauling fish up, there happened to be a jellyfish during the catch, I guess there’s a possibility," he says. "I can say that would be the first time I’ve ever heard of that happening."
He says the Munro was close enough to the Prowler to respond directly. The cutter’s small boat crew went over to the Prowler to assess the man’s injuries. Then they brought him back to the Munro to see their on-board health services technician. That tech ordered the medevac aboard the cutter's helicopter.
Eggert says cutter crews are usually too far away to examine injuries in person before deciding whether to fly a person out. Most of the time, they have to send their helicopter directly. He says this was a lucky case.
"They were able to get him over to the Munro where he could be examined and then make the call from there," he says. "From that point, they just put him on board the Dolphin helicopter that was already aboard the Munro, and that flight crew took him to St. Paul."
It was the latest in a string of medevacs in the Bering Sea. Eggert says cutters typically respond to a high rate of injuries during the major fishing seasons.