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Coast Guard medevacs man offshore of Sanibel via helicopter

By Staff | Oct 31, 2019

On Oct. 30, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a man 48 miles offshore of Sanibel.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man, 53, from a 30-foot fishing vessel and transported him to Tampa General Hospital for treatment, officials reported.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg command center watchstanders were notified by the vessel’s crew that the master of the boat recently had heart surgery and had symptoms of difficulty breathing, blurry vision and dizzy spells. The Coast Guard District 7 duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac, and the watchstanders diverted the helicopter aircrew, who were already airborne on a training flight.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also were on scene and assisted with preparing the man to be airlifted. The vessel crew was able to safely navigate the vessel back to port.

“The crew did a great job working together and thinking creatively to get the patient off the boat that didn’t have a lot of room for hoisting,” helicopter co-pilot Lt. j.g John Martin said. “We’re glad to have the help of Florida Fish and Wildlife and the fact that the captain was ready for us made everything go smoother.”