When you need them, they are there

Published on August 17th, 2021

(August 17, 2021) – Coast Guard and San Francisco Fire Department personnel medevaced a woman from a sailboat early this morning which was located approximately 380 miles offshore from San Francisco, CA.

Eleventh Coast Guard District Command Center watchstanders received a notification via satellite communicator at approximately 1:45 pm yesterday from the captain of the sailboat Cibola, reporting a 23-year-old woman had accidentally ingested antifreeze.

Due to the distance off shore and range limitations of Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco’s MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, watchstanders directed the forward deployment of a Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to Air Station San Francisco. Additionally, the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett (WMSL 757) was diverted to serve as a refueling platform for the Jayhawk helicopter.

The Sector San Diego Jayhawk helicopter arrived at Air Station San Francisco at approximately 9:00 pm yesterday. The helicopter was refueled, crews were changed and a San Francisco Fire Department paramedic boarded before departing on the medevac mission.

Sail GP

A Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento C-27 Spartan aircraft launched around 9:55 pm yesterday to provide cover for the Jayhawk crew throughout the mission and rendezvoused with the Jayhawk before both crews headed offshore.

The Jayhawk crew landed on the Midgett to refuel approximately 230 miles west of San Francisco around 11:45 pm and then proceeded toward the Cibola.

The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene with the Cibola around 2:15 am today and lowered the rescue swimmer to assess the situation. The rescue swimmer assisted in hoisting the woman into the helicopter, and once the rescue swimmer was retrieved, the helicopter crew headed back to the Midgett.

“The San Francisco Fire Department paramedic’s assistance was vital to saving the sailor’s life as he assisted the Coast Guard rescue swimmer to stabilize and care for her during the four-hour transit back to San Francisco,” said Douglas Samp, the Eleventh District search mission coordinator.

The Jayhawk crew returned to the Midgett around 4:00 am to refuel again before flying back to Air Station San Francisco.

“This was a highly complex medical evacuation performed at night, off a small sailboat, hundreds of miles offshore that tested the limits of our crews and equipment,” said Samp. “The sailor’s life was saved by the dedicated teamwork of the San Francisco Fire Department and Coast Guard personnel across eight different units.”

The woman was transferred to awaiting EMS in stable condition and transported to Zuckerburg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

Source: USCG

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