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Press Release | Sept. 19, 2023

Coast Guard performs CPR on a man after a crane collapse near Memphis, Tennessee

U.S. Coast Guard Heartland Office: 504-671-2020 Cell: 618-225-9008

A crane sits in the water at Wepfer Marine Drydock Sept. 19, 2023, near Memphis, Tennessee. A crane sits in the water at Wepfer Marine Drydock Sept. 19, 2023, near Memphis, Tennessee. The crane reportedly collapsed into the water with one crane operator inside who was later rescued from the water.

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NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard crew members resuscitated an unresponsive male Tuesday near Memphis, Tennessee. 

At approximately 10:15 a.m., a crane at the Wepfer Marine Drydock reportedly fell into the water with one crane operator inside. A good samaritan on a nearby towing vessel entered the water and was able to locate the unresponsive crane operator.  

The Coast Guard Cutter Ouachita crew and one member of the Coast Guard Cutter Obion crew were nearby when the crane collapsed and responded to the incident. The crew used a nearby fire hose as a lifeline to pull the two people to shore and get them out of the water. 

Once safely on the pier the crew checked vitals of the crane operator and started to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

After administering CPR the crew was able to verify a pulse and signs of life and monitored the crane operator until medical transport arrived.

Local emergency medical services arrived at the location and relieved the Coast Guard crew members. The crane operator was then transported to a higher level of medical care. 

"I couldn't be more proud of how our crew responded," said Chief Petty Officer Will Parris, Coast Guard Cutter Ouachita, executive petty officer. "They relied on their training, experience and each other to get the gentleman the care he needed."

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

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