News: Flight mechanic's first medevac: rescues doctor from research vessel 190 miles off Galveston
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Manda Emery
HOUSTON - A Coast Guard flight mechanic, and Reeds Spring, Mo., native, medevaced a man from a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 190 miles southeast of Galveston, and his crew delivered the man to the Scholes International Airport in Galveston where they were met by emergency medical services Saturday.
A ship's representative, for the Norwegian-flagged research vessel Veritas Viking, contacted Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders at 2 a.m., requesting assistance. The representative reported that the 45-year-old man, a doctor aboard the vessel, was suffering from severe chest pains and experiencing heartache systems.
An Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew launched to rescue the man. The newly-qualified flight mechanic lowered the rescue swimmer more than 20 feet to the deck of the ship on his first search and rescue case, then successfully hoisted the swimmer and patient back up to the helicopter.
"Not only was it my first case, but it was my first night standing flight mechanic duty," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Mitchell Ulrich, the flight mechanic overseeing the hoist of the patient. "When we got the initial call, it was sort of surreal, and I quickly reverted back to all the training. It was game time; it was time to work. I started going through all my checklists and it was one of those things, the standard 'it's 3 o'clock in the morning and someone needs your help,' and I am glad I could be that person to help. It felt good to be a small part of the big picture of what the Coast Guard is and does."
The man was delivered to Scholes International Airport in Galveston at about 8 a.m., then transferred by EMS to University of Texas Medical Branch in stable condition.
"Prudent flight planning was essential to the success of this mission due to the distance offshore and poor weather conditions," said Lt. Michael Gibson, the helicopter pilot. "While the conditions were favorable upon departure, they were forecasted to be extremely poor on our return to Houston. In the Coast Guard, we pride ourselves on the ability to adapt and overcome, a trait we put into practice today that enabled us to save a life."
This work, Flight mechanic's first medevac: rescues doctor from research vessel 190 miles off Galveston, by PO3 Manda Emery, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.