PORT HARDY—A middle-aged man was hospitalized in stable condition Sunday night after being airlifted by an RCAF helicopter crew from a commercial fishing boat approximately 80 nautical miles west of Port Hardy.
Air Controllers at Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call indicating that the man was experiencing a possible medical condition on board the 48-foot vessel and was in need of evacuation to hospital.
The Cormorant crew from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron took off from its base at 19 Wing Comox and was on scene at just before 5 p.m.
“We talked to the ship and got the crew to clear a spot on the deck so that we could lower our Search and Rescue Technician safely,” said Captain Pierre Faucher, aircraft commander. “Fishing vessels are always challenging to lower SAR Techs onto because of the masts, antennas and rigging on board.”
As the Cormorant hovered overhead, the Flight Engineer (F.E.) operating the hoist lowered the SAR Tech to the deck.
“It was a small area to hoist onto,” said Master Corporal Giles Bagley, SAR Tech. “I went down quick, put a sling around the man for the sake of speed, and with perfect timing, the F.E. got us back on board the helicopter in no time.”
The helicopter then flew to Port Hardy where the man was transferred in stable condition to B.C. Ambulance for transport to hospital.