Bulker crewman airlifted after injuries in fall

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The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevaced a Chinese crewmember from the 587-foot bulk carrier Bunun Hero on Tuesday night in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 175 nautical miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Coast Guard watch standers in Sector San Juan received the medevac request at 5 p.m. Monday from the Panamanian-flagged ship for a 20-year-old crewmember, who sustained multiple broken bones and a head injury after falling from a crane on the ship.

Bunun Hero was transiting on a voyage to Europe and was approximately 525 nautical miles northeast of Puerto Rico, outside the range of responding rescue helicopters, when the captain of the ship reported the incident to the Coast Guard.  

Sector San Juan watch standers requested Bunun Hero head toward Puerto Rico to shorten the distance for the medevac. 

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew in Great Inagua, Turks and Caicos, flew to Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico in anticipation of the ship’s arrival to the rendezvous location. Sector San Juan watch standers dispatched the HH-60 helicopter crew that met Bunun Hero and lowered their rescue swimmer, along with a rescue basket, to stabilize the injured ship’s crewmember. An Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft crew also launched from Air Station Borinquen to provide air support during the medevac.

The Coast Guard helicopter crew safely hoisted the patient on board with the assistance of the ship’s crew and transported the patient to the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Emergency medical services personnel received the patient and transported him to the Centro Medico Hospital for treatment.

By Professional Mariner Staff