A crewman has been airlifted from a fishing vessel 20 miles off the Oregon Coast. The crewman was working aboard the fishing vessel Leann when he reportedly fell suffering a head injury. Initial VHF radio communications with the coast guard were incomplete and broken up. The Coast Guard utilized telephone communications to reach the master of the Leann and make arrangements for an emergency airlift. The 50-year-old injured crewman was reportedly unconscious following the fall and became combative as he regained unconscious. Closed head injury victims who suffer brain injuries frequently exhibit these types of symptoms. It is important to get immediate emergency medical care for any crewman suspected of suffering a closed head injury aboard a fishing vessel.
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bend safely transported the 50-year-old man to medical personnel at Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay. Weather conditions at the scene of the fishing accident were reported to be calm seas with light winds and clear visibility.
The circumstances of the crewman’s fall aboard the Leann are unknown at this time. All injury accidents involving fisherman require that a Coast Guard accident form “2692” be filed with the Coast Guard indicating how the accident occurred and making suggests for how such accidents can be prevented in the future. Slip and fall accidents aboard fishing vessels remain one of the most frequent causes of commercial fisherman injuries. To be a seaworthy a vessel proper precautions must be taken to ensure that a crewman at all times has a safe place to work.