Coast Guard crews used a medivac helicopter to transport a diver to a medical center Saturday after he began experiencing compression sickness just off the coast of Point Pleasant.

According to a statement, the Coast Guard was initially contacted by the 35-foot vessel Bluefin, reporting that a man began experiencing symptoms of compression sickness about 30 minutes after a dive. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay responded with a 29-foot boat and crew from the Manasquan Inlet station.

Coast Guard officials say the crew escorted the Bluefin to Manasquan Inlet and transferred the man to emergency medical services personnel who transported the sickened diver to Harold G. Antrim Middle School in Point Pleasant. From there, a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City took the man to University of Pennsylvania hospital in Philadelphia.

“This is a good example of how having a working VHF marine radio aboard your boat can allow rescuers to get on-scene quickly,” Chief Petty Officer Kyle Gerkens said in a statement. “Having a means to communicate allowed these divers to direct the Coast Guard quickly to their location, and that allowed us to quickly coordinate the medevac between EMS and the Coast Guard air crew.”

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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