19 WING COMOX – A Cormorant helicopter was launched to waters north of the Queen Charlotte Islands to medically evacuate 34-year-old male suffering from an unknown, but life threatening, health condition. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, who received the call from Emergency Health Services Friday morning, January 12, tasked the crew from 442 Squadron to pick up the male and take him to higher health care.
The man was on an American fishing vessel approximately 290 km from Port Hardy and 160 km from Sandspit. They were transitting north when one of their crewmembers health condition deteriorated and they immediately called for assistance.
EHS was unable to support the request and the Cormorant was tasked as the only asset that could get to the boat quickly, hoist the man off, provide medical assistance and get him to a hospital by the fastest means possible.
Rescue 902, the call sign of the Cormorant, was launched with a typical SAR crew and also included a flight nurse, who is part of the 19 Wing aeromedical team. A Buffalo aircraft from the Squadron flew top cover for the mission.
Sgt. Daryl Lecompte, search and rescue technician, was hoisted to the boat to assess and prepare the patient for hoisting. “The fishing vessel didn’t have any medical crew, so they absolutely did the right thing by calling for us.
Without proper attention or knowing his medical history, he could have died out there,” Lecompte said.
Once on board, flight nurse Capt. Christine Bannerman and the two SAR Techs continued medical protocols throughout the flight to their destination, the Queen Charlotte City Hospital on Graham Island.
“Our patient was disoriented, but held in there,” said Capt. Bannerman. “To make matters more difficult, he only appeared to speak Spanish so there was a language barrier. I am sure he must have been very afraid. Once we got to the hospital, the doctor began treatment immediately. We left him in good hands.”
The current condition of the patient is unknown.
Cormorant crew: Capt. Troy Kearns, aircraft commander, Maj. Doug Parker, first officer, Cpl. Derek Agnew, flight engineer, Sgt. Daryl Lecompte and Master Cpl. Mark Salesse, SAR Techs and Capt. Christine Bannerman, flight nurse.
Source: 19 Wing
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