Coast Guard: Rogue wave injured tanker crewmen in Aleutians

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:


(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — Coast Guard rescue crews flew more than 1800 combined miles to conduct a medical evacuation of three Indian crewmen aboard a chemical oil tanker 80 miles South of Adak Island, Alaska, Monday safely transferring them to Adak for further transport to Anchorage.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules airplane flew from Kodiak to Adak Sunday while the vessel headed north to close the distance the aircraft would be required to fly offshore.

The men were safely hoisted into the helicopter Monday at about 12:30 p.m. in 35 mph winds, 12 to 15-foot seas and snow showers. They were then flown to Adak for further transport to Anchorage aboard the Coast Guard C-130 where they are expected to arrive around 8 p.m. All are reportedly in stable condition.

The Coast Guard received a phone call Saturday around 4:15 p.m. from the master of the 478-foot tanker Bum Chin requesting a medevac for the men. The Bum Chin crew was able to stabilize the crewmen aboard the vessel after they sustained injuries in heavy weather. The vessel took a rogue wave that swept the three crew members from the decks into the superstructure and railing. The chief officer sustained head injuries, an able seaman sustained a compound fracture of his left leg, wounds to his forehead and left hand, and the fifth engineer sustained injuries to his left leg, lower back and his left chest.

The Chinese-flagged vessel was en route from Ulsan, South Korea, to San Francisco. The vessel has resumed its previous course. The South Korean port was previously reported as Busan. Ulsan lies 43 miles north of Busan facing the Sea of Japan.

By Professional Mariner Staff