ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Coast Guard medevaced a 53-year-old man Wednesday from a fishing boat approximately 73 miles southeast of Atlantic City.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia received a call from the captain of the 40-foot fishing boat Reel Trouble at about 9:15 a.m. reporting his first mate had suffered an injury to his hand.
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City launched, and an already-airborne HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was diverted to the scene. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at about 10:40 a.m. and lowered a rescue swimmer and rescue basket to the boat.
The man was hoisted to the helicopter in the rescue basket and flown to Air Station Atlantic City where he was placed in the care of awaiting local EMS.
UPDATE: I chatted with George as he was leaving for the hand surgeon.
Fishing the canyons on a tuna trip, George had been clearing grass from lines when he noticed a rod had gone slack. Reaching the slacked rod, he picked it up and was reeling it in when a tuna hit.
In a heartbeat -- what George said was too quick to be clear about -- a loop in the line, near the reel, wrapped around the middle finger and yanked his entire right hand upward. Either the line or a piece of rod/tackle instantly severed the end of the finger.
The severing was far enough up the finger to include a section of bone.
In an admirable bit of calm-headedness, George immediately told the captain, “Call the Coast Guard.”
Folks onboard the vessel then iced the hand and wrapped it in towels.
As for pain, George said his hand had gone numb when the injury first occurred and the pain wasn’t given a full chance to set in thanks to the rapid application of ice. The wound remained numbed up as he was basketed onto the rapidly arriving USCG chopper – and during the speedy trip to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit, AC.
“The Coast Guard guys were great,” noted George. He also commended the folks at the hospital for their care.
Now it’s up to the specialist to see what can be done to the finger.
Philosophically, George said, “It coulda been worse.”
Whadda ya mean “What happened to the fish?” OK, if you must know, it was, indeed, successfully landed; a 60-pound yft.
I've been getting on a bit about the lack of LBI bugginess this summer. And it now seems it’s not just the lack of mosquitoes making it kinda weird out there. I ask any and all summer regulars how often you see west winds, like we've been having lately, and not a single black fly in sight. In August!! You can’t tell me that’s not weird. I won't press my luck by ditto-ing greenhead flies. I hate them so much I don't want to taunt them into showing up out of spite. I know they read Facebook.
In other news::