Helicopter crew evacuates fisherman

An RCAF helicopter crew evacuated a fisherman from a boat near Port Hardy.

  • Aug. 12, 2013 6:00 p.m.

A Sar Tech and flight engineer observe a boat from the rescue door of a CH-149 Cormorant helicopter during a medevac of a fisherman Sunday.

An RCAF Cormorant helicopter crew helped evacuate a middle-aged man from a commercial fishing boat, approximately 80 nautical miles west of Port Hardy early Sunday evening.

Air Controllers at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call indicating the man was experiencing a possible medical condition on board the 48-foot vessel and was in need of evacuation to hospital.

The Cormorant crew from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron was on scene around 5 p.m.

“We talked to the ship and got the crew to clear a spot on the deck so that we could lower our Search and Rescue Technician safely,” said Capt. Pierre Faucher, aircraft commander. “Fishing vessels are always challenging to lower SAR Techs onto because of the masts, antennas and rigging on board.”

As the Cormorant hovered overhead, the flight engineer  operating the hoist lowered the SAR Tech to the deck.

“It was a small area to hoist onto,” Master Cpl. Giles Bagley said. “I went down quick, put a sling around the man for the sake of speed, and with perfect timing, the F.E. got us back on board the helicopter in no time.”

The helicopter flew to Port Hardy where the man was transferred in stable condition to ambulance for transport to hospital.

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