Coast Guard medevacs man near False Pass

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter inside a hangar at Cold Bay in early October, so that Kodiak-based air crews can respond quickly during the winter fishing season. (Photo courtesy Petty Officer 1st Class Charly Hengen/Coast Guard District 17)

A man injured in a diving accident about nine miles northeast of False Pass was medevaced by a U.S. Coast Guard crew from Air Station Kodiak on Thursday, Sept. 13 to receive medical care at Cold Bay.

Coast Guard watchstanders in the 17th District command center in Juneau received a report at about 1:50 p.m. that a piece of the wreck broke free and pinned the man to the sea floor at a depth of about 65 feet for several minutes. He was able to free himself and get to the surface before the Coast Guard was notified. The dive master aboard the dive tender vessel Makushi Bay told the Coast Guard of the incident and said the man was bleeding from the nose and had possible injuries to the left side of his body. A medevac was recommended.

Lt. Stephen Nolan, command duty officer for the case, said the Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew just happened to be in Cold Bay on a separate, unrelated mission.

“The diver’s ability to free himself, coupled with our aircrew’s proximity to the accident provided a favorable outcome,” he said.