The U.S. Coast Guard and a Canadian fishing crew are being credited with saving the life of a fisherman with a severed artery and six-inch puncture wound.
The 19-year-old man was airlifted off of the boat by the Coast Guard last Saturday after he cut himself aboard the Ocean Pearl commercial fishing boat off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada’s CTV News reported.
“[They] took really good care of their crew member, they stabilized the bleeding,” Lt. Skylar Swenson said in an interview. “The fishing vessel [crew] saved the life of their own crew member.”
According to the crew of the ship, the injury was pretty severe. A 6-inch cut in his leg had hit an artery and was bleeding badly.
The injured Canadian man was airlifted off the fishing vessel in a daring rescue by the United States Coast Guard on Saturday and was transported to a hospital in Port Angeles, Washington.
Here’s footage of the daring rescue:
“It was a race against time,” Swenson told CTV News. “And we were doing everything we could to get to the fishing vessel as fast as possible.”
While the injury wasn’t in American waters, the Canadians and Americans collaborate in situations like this.
Lt. Swenson talked to CTV about how America has “very good partnerships with the Canadian Rescue Coordination Center with Coast Guard District 13 and Vector Puget Sound, and we were launched” to deal with the situation.
“Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle received the medevac request from the captain of the 110-foot fishing vessel Ocean Pearl at about 1 p.m.,” the United States Coast Guard said in a statement.
A rescue swimmer was lowered from the Coast Guard’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to the 110-foot Ocean Pearl, all while the boat was still moving forward. (To be fair, this actually makes things easier; since the ship rolls and pitches less.)
And trust me, that was needed. The Ocean Pearl was facing waves of up to 10 feet, which made the evacuation a hairy affair.
The video shows the man being lifted up into the helicopter. After he reached the craft, he gives a thumbs up and a wave to those still back on the ship. He was then flown to a hospital in Port Angeles, Washington.
He was, as of arrival at the hospital, in stable condition, described as alert and responsive.
“That’s the best thing, to go home and know we saved a young man’s life and to see the smile on his face,” Swenson said.
While the fishing crew did a fine job of helping save this young man’s life, don’t underestimate the Coast Guard‘s heroics.
Whether it’s interdicting smugglers before they reach America’s shores or saving dogs struggling to stay above water offshore, they do amazing and oft-unheralded work. What they do is vital to our country’s mission.
If you don’t believe me, just ask this young man.
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