June 22, 2018
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Injured person airlifted from sailboat near Matinicus

BELFAST, Maine — A Coast Guard rescue helicopter was called in Sunday to airlift an injured person from a sailboat near Matinicus Island.

The sailboat Shelia was apparently headed to Nova Scotia when a crewmember suffered a possible spinal injury. The U.S. Coast Guard launched a 47-foot boat from Rockland Station to meet the 27-foot sailboat and escort it to a more sheltered location.

An MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod then hoisted the injured crew member from the boat and flew the patient to Rockland, where paramedics transported the person to a local hospital.

Winds were reportedly gusting to 20 mph with seas of 4 to 6 feet at the time of the hoist, according to a press release from the Coast Guard.

“Weather conditions were certainly a factor in this case,” Paul Conner, a search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, said in the statement. “Rescue crews worked to stabilize the patient in the rough conditions by escorting the sailboat to an area more sheltered from the weather, to allow for a safer hoist.”

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