Coast Guard medevacs diver suffering from decompression sickness

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WILMINGTON, N.C. – A man who was showing signs of decompression sickness approximately 10 miles east of Cape Lookout, N.C., was medevaced by the Coast Guard Sunday.

Around 10 a.m., a crewmember aboard a diving vessel contacted the Sector North Carolina command center via radio and notified them a diver may have surfaced too quickly and was experiencing shortness of breath.

Sector North Carolina diverted a rescue helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City that was conducting training nearby, and when it arrived the man was safely hoisted up for transport to Norfolk Sentara Leigh Hospital.

According to command duty officer Lt. Tiffany Zehnle, other signs of decompression sickness include numbness, dizziness and pain in joints after surfacing, and if divers exhibit symptoms they need to receive medical attention immediately.

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