When a 70-year-old man injured his back aboard a 29-foot recreational boat nearly 40 miles offshore, the skipper made a mayday call via VHF channel 16.
“We weren’t aware that there was a short between our radio and antenna before leaving the dock. Luckily, we had a backup handheld radio to use,” skipper Norman Clapp said.
A good Samaritan nearby stepped in and relayed communication between the Coast Guard and the vessel in distress, leading to an efficient medevac.
The injured man was transferred to the 45-foot response boat, hoisted to the helicopter and taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital.
“Any time we conduct a medevac, there is a level of inherent risk. Our primary concern is to safely get the distressed person to a higher level of care as fast as possible,” said Chief Petty Officer Anibal Mucino, the command duty officer on watch. “Fortunately, a good Samaritan was in the area to assist with communications and we were able to smoothly execute the rescue.”