The view of a fishing vessel from a Cormorant helicopter on approach to rescue an injured fisherman

Fisherman airlifted

Injured man flown to Victoria hospital for treatment.

PORT HARDY—A fisherman who sustained a serious hand injury as airlifted from a commercial vessel northwest of Port Hardy and taken to hospital in Victoria Thursday afternoon.

A Cormorant helicopter and Buffalo airplane were launched from their base at 19 Wing Comox shortly before 1 p.m. after air controllers at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call that the male had sustained the injury while working on board a 22-metre commercial fishing vessel about 90 nautical miles from Port Hardy, in Queen Charlotte Sound.

HMCS Nanaimo, presently serving a period of coastal SAR Zone coverage, was also called to respond to the scene, but was stood down before arriving on scene.

“The sea state was calm and although the vessel was moving in and out of some fog banks, the weather was good to conduct the operation,” said Captain Mike O’Brien, Cormorant pilot. “The boat crew did a good job of clearing the aft deck of fishing gear, enabling us to hoist our three Search and Rescue Technicians onboard safely.”

Once on the deck, the SAR Techs stabilized the man and placed him into a rescue basket.  With the patient and SAR Techs on board, the helicopter crew flew to Port Hardy, where they landed at 4:30 p.m. to meet with the Buffalo aircraft. The Buffalo crew flew the patient to Victoria, where he was transferred to BC Ambulance for transport to hospital.  His present medical status is unknown.