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Ferry Chenega Crew Renders Aid to Possible Heart Attack Victim


(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Crewmembers from the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry Chenega put their lifesaving and response skills to work once again in Prince William Sound Sunday afternoon.

The fast vehicle ferry was traveling to Cordova after departing Whittier at 4 p.m., when the crew overheard a radio call to the U.S. Coast Guard from someone aboard the 28-foot charter vessel Patriot Express. The caller indicated a man aboard the boat was suffering seizures.

Chenega’s captain, Capt. Sam Daniels, determined Chenega’s crew could respond quickly and aid the 71-year-old man

Daniels directed a crewman to determine if any passenger were qualified healthcare professionals and able to offer assistance.

Two passengers, Dr. Phillip Myers of Illinois and registered nurse Gayleen Marmarelis from California, volunteered to help.

In less than 20 minutes, Capt. Daniels and his crew launched Chenega’s fast rescue boat with Able Seaman Guy Beedle at the helm, Passenger Services Worker Julia Ross assisting and with Myers and Marmarelis on board.

“It only took a minute or two before our rescue boat was alongside the Patriot Express and the doctor and nurse were aboard stabilizing and treating the man with oxygen,” Daniels explained.

The Patriot Express continued traveling to the fuel dock in Whittier to waiting EMT’s. The now conscious man was prepared for a Coast Guard helicopter medevac. His condition was not known to AMHS officials following the medevac.

Twice in 2008, Chenega and its crew rescued mariners in distress. The crew aboard the ferry Taku saved two fishermen in October after their boat burst into flames near Juneau.

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