Coast Guard medevacs man from tugboat

A man exhibiting possible symptoms of a stroke was medevaced by a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka helicopter crew on May 9 from an 83-foot tugboat in Chatham Strait in Southeast Alaska.

The patient, a 61-year-old captain, was hoisted from the tugboat Maia H, 34 miles east of Sitka, and transferred to Sitka for further medical care.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Sojka said the crew aboard the tugboat was monitoring the captain’s vital signs and did a great job getting him positioned for the hoist. “It was an efficient hoist and we were able to get the man to EMS quickly,” said Sojka, an aviation survival technician at Air Station Sitka.

Weather at the time of the hoist was 25-mile-am hour winds with two foot seas.

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Emily Mesner is a staff reporter and photographer for The Cordova Times. Reach her at emesner@thecordovatimes.com. Emily graduated from Central Michigan University, earning a degree in photojournalism with a cultural competency certificate. She first visited Alaska in 2016, working as a media intern for the National Park Service in Kotzebue and Denali National Park and Preserve, and has been coming back ever since. To see more photos, follow @thecordovatimes and @emilymesnerphoto on Instagram.