A 42-year-old crewman was airlifted from the trawler F/V Golden Alaska on Wednesday. The crewman was suffering from a hernia. The Coast Guard flight surgeon on call recommended emergency medical evacuation by helicopter. The injured crewman was able to receive the needed surgical care reportedly within 8 hours of the coast guard being contacted.
Crewmen frequently suffer hernia injuries while working aboard Alaska fishing boats. Excessive lifting, pulling and pushing can cause a hernia. Vessel operators should minimize the risks of crewman suffering a hernia. Minimizing the frequency of lifts and the amount of weight lifted reduces risk of injury.
The facts of this case are unknown at this time. The F/V Golden Alaska was fishing 75 miles from Cold Bay. Weather conditions on scene were 4-foot seas and winds of approximately 17 miles per hour.
This demonstrates the quick action that can be taken by fishing vessel operators to get an injured crewman to shore for medical treatment. Coast Guard flight surgeons are available to consult with vessels about medical care for ill or injured crewman.