HAI Announces Recipient of the 2010 Eurocopter Golden Hour Award

HAI Announces Recipient of the 2010 Eurocopter Golden Hour Award

4-Feb-2010 Source: HAI

HAI is pleased to announce the 2010 Eurocopter Golden Hour Award recipient, Crew of CGNR 6573; U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Alaska.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on January 30, 2009, it was reported that a crewman on a fishing vessel south of Sanak Island in Alaska was suffering a severe head injury. Battling driving blizzard conditions, and with ceilings below 150 feet, poor visibility, and icing, U.S. Coast Guard CGNR 6573, piloted by Lt. Jason S. Smith and Lt. Greg S. Gedemer, made the 90 mile flight to the vessel navigating in and around unforgiving mountainous terrain, relying on charts, GPS, and intermittent radar as visual references came and went.
Arriving on scene, the crew conducted an instrument approach, and then used NVGs to locate the vessel. Having discussed several options to facilitate the safest recovery of the man from the pitching and rolling vessel, the crew engaged in a challenging Dead in the Water (DIW) hoist from 75 feet altitude, encumbered by limited deck space, extensive rigging, high winds, and heavy seas.
With the altitude and the vessel’s bright lights causing disorientation, Rescue Swimmer AST1 Matthew J. Thiessen struck the vessel’s crane. To avoid entanglement, he shed his trail line and aborted the initial hoist. Flight Mechanic AMT3 Blaize D. Potts was able to discern a safer delivery point while Thiessen, ignoring his pain, refocused on another hoist. Despite the vessel being DIW, and now without the stability of a trail line, Thiessen was successfully placed on deck and received the rescue litter. Thiessen quickly packed the injured crewman and untangled the previously discarded trail line, allowing for a more controlled trail line recovery of the litter.
Retrieving the injured crewman, CGNR 6573 departed, providing first aid treatment until landing in Cold Bay to awaiting medical personnel who transported the patient to the Cold Bay clinic. Demonstrating superb planning and local area knowledge, the heroic efforts of the crew resulted in the saving of life under the most appalling conditions.
All winners will be recognized at HELI-EXPO 2010’s annual “Salute to Excellence” Awards Banquet on February 22, 2010 in Houston, Texas. For more information about the 2010 “Salute to Excellence” Awards, contact HAI’s Communications Department at 703-683-4646, fax: 703-683-4745, or email: rotor@rotor.com. For more information on HELI-EXPO 2010, visit www.rotor.com.

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