East Hawaii News

Coast Guard Medevacs Seaman to Hilo Airport

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An ailing crew member of a merchant vessel was successfully airlifted this morning by the Coast Guard to Hilo’s airport.

A Coast Guard spokesman said a call for assistance came in at 7:53 a.m. Thursday from the Cayman Island-flagged Stolt Topaz, a 580-foot motor tanker. The caller reported that a 58-year-old Filipino crew member was showing signs of a heart attack.

Based on his symptoms, a Coast Guard flight surgeon determined that the crew member required urgent medical attention.

At the time of the call, the vessel was on a trans-Pacific voyage and located 477 miles southeast of the Big Island. The crew then changed course to bring it closer to Hawaii.

A HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter left Hilo airport at 7:30 a.m. today and rendezvoused with the ship 92 miles southeast of Hilo.

The patient was hoisted into the helicopter and transported to Hilo International Airport. When he arrived there at 9:45 a.m. he was met by an ambulance and taken to Hilo Medical Center.


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