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Coast Guard medevacs tanker crewmember off Galveston coast

February 20, 2015
Coast Guard Air Station Houston hoists a tanker crewmember aboard and transports him to the University of Texas Medical Branch Thursday. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Houston.

HOUSTON — A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced a 46-year-old crewmember off a tanker in the Galveston Fairway Anchorage Thursday morning.

The captain of the Zambezi Star, a 604-foot chemical tanker, contacted Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders via VHF channel 16 at approximately 11:30 a.m., stating that a crewmember fell off a ladder and began showing heart attack symptoms.

The Coast Guard Cutter Manowar responded, but was unable to safely transfer the crewmember from the tanker to the Manowar's small boat due to height and the crewmember's condition. An Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew in the area for training overheard the Manowar's communications and offered their assistance.

The helicopter crew hoisted the crewmember aboard and transported them to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston where the individual was transferred in stable condition. 

"We weren't the search and rescue ready crew, but we were in the right place at the right time," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Mitchell Ulrich, the rescue helicopter's hoist technician. "When the Manowar was unable to transfer the crewmember, we were happy to assist. I'm always glad when we are able to help a person in need."

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