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Coast Guard medevacs fisherman near Cold Bay

Tegan Hanlon

A Coast Guard helicopter rescued a fisherman experiencing severe chest pain Friday morning near Cold Bay.

The crew of the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter hoisted the 42-year-old man from a Seattle-based Blue Gadus fishing vessel in the Bering Sea, about 207 miles northwest of Cold Bay, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Sara Mooers.

The man was taken to Cold Bay and transported by emergency medical personnel with LifeFlight to Anchorage, she said.

The man was on a 150-foot longliner owned by Blue North Fisheries with the message "In Cod We Trust" displayed across its bridge.

At the time of the hoist, about 10:15 a.m., there were 35 to 40 mph winds, seas up to 10 feet and periods of rain.

A Coast Guard airplane crew had been dispatched from Kodiak to Cold Bay as backup in case the inclement weather prevented the LifeFlight plane from landing in Cold Bay.

"It was a nasty weather day," Mooers said.

The National Weather Service issued a gale warning Wednesday afternoon for the area over the eastern Bering Sea through Saturday. Chris Burling, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the low pressure system moving through is the remnants of Typhoon Wipha, a deadly storm that hit Japan earlier this week.

"The Bering Sea is famous for bad weather especially in the fall and winter," Mooers said.

She said the Coast Guard hasn't received "any calls or concerns" at this point in response to the high winds and rough waters.

The Coast Guard set up its seasonal search and rescue response in Cold Bay on Monday to assist fisherman working in harsh weather in Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.

"We hedge our bets and put out additional crews," Mooers said.

Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589.


By TEGAN HANLON
thanlon@adn.com