Coast Guard airlifts three injured mariners from freighter off Oregon

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

(WARRENTON, Ore.) — A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced three mariners, reportedly suffering from burns and a leg injury, from a cargo ship 52 miles west of the Columbia River Bar on Thursday. A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the three men from the 623-foot Cyprus-flagged motor vessel and transferred them to awaiting emergency medical service personnel at the air station.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a report at 11:30 a.m. from Pacific Coast Maritime Agencies, a vessel operation service for tanker and dry bulk vessels, that two Almasi crewmembers had received injuries consistent with chemical burns and another crewmember had a possible broken bone. The mariners were reportedly injured while refueling and cleaning the holds. The crew of Almasi was originally 69 miles west of the Columbia River Bar and coordinated with Coast Guard personnel to move closer to shore to rendezvous with the Jayhawk crew.

The Jayhawk crew arrived on scene around 1:42 p.m., assessed the Almasi members' injuries, hoisted the three men and safely handed them over at 3:09 p.m. to emergency medical services, who transported them to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria for further medical treatment.

"The outstanding coordination between the Almasi crew and Coast Guard watchstanders and helicopter crew led to an effective medevac," said Petty Officer 1st Class John Bennett, the search and rescue controller at Sector Columbia River. "Despite the challenging weather conditions, our helicopter crew was able to safely hoist the injured men and get them to the medical care they required."

Weather on scene was reported as 31 to 38 mph winds with 19-foot seas. Air temperature was 56 degrees Fahrenheit and water temperature was 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

By Professional Mariner Staff