An RCAF Search and Rescue crew from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron medevaced an injured fisherman from a commercial fishing vessel, 30 nautical miles northwest of Tofino, Monday afternoon.
The Cormorant helicopter crew was launched from their base at CFB Comox shortly before 5 p.m. after mission controllers at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call from Marine Communications and Traffic Services Tofino that a man had sustained a potentially serious eye injury while working aboard a 20-metre commercial fishing vessel.
Once arriving on scene, the crew had to locate a safe place to hoist the Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) on board.
“We couldn’t hoist the SAR Techs to the bow or stern as there were obstacles like the smokestack, antennas and the bridge in the way,” said Capt. Aaron Noble, First Officer. “We lowered the SAR Techs mid-ship, which made for a challenging rescue.”
Once on the deck, the SAR Techs stabilized the man and placed him into a rescue basket to be hoisted to the helicopter.
“The ship was pitching up and down, but we were able to hoist the patient and the SAR techs back up as we hovered about 60 feet over the deck,” said Cpl. Kent Campbell, Flight Engineer, who operated the hoist during the delicate operation.
Once on board the helicopter, SAR Techs continued treatment for the man until he was transferred to the care of BC Ambulance upon arrival at 19 Wing Comox at 7:20 p.m. He was taken to local hospital in stable condition. His present medical status is unknown.
— 19 Wing Comox