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Unalaska Dutch Harbor, Medical Clinic

Commercial Fishermen Medical Treatment at Iliuliuk Clinic in Dutch Harbor

For many injured crewmen and fish processors, Iliuliuk Family & Health Services clinic in Dutch Harbor is the first chance to have their injuries properly assessed and evaluated by trained medical professionals. The Iliuliuk clinic has heavy demand on limited resources. The medical clinic has limited abilities to treat life threatening injuries or injuries requiring surgery. Stabilizing seriously injured crewmen for medical evacuation to Anchorage for emergency medical care and further evaluation is one of the clinic’s vital roles.

If you been injured working at sea and need medical evaluation in Dutch Harbor, your employer has a duty under Federal maritime law to pay for reasonable treatment for work-related injuries and illnesses. If it is medically determined you are unable to continue fishing and need further medical treatment, the employer must pay for your transportation home and may be required to pay you wages for your complete contract.

When being seen at the Dutch Harbor medical clinic, a crewman who has been injured while working aboard an Alaska fishing vessel in the Bering Sea should fully explain to the doctors and nurses the nature of their injury and how the injury happened. The Dutch Harbor medical clinic’s records may be important evidence in any injury claim proceedings the injured fisherman may have to make.

A light duty medical restriction means just that, “light duty.” The reality is there are few light duty jobs aboard any commercial fishing vessel. An injured crewman who is determined to be capable of only light duty work should, in most instances, be sent home for medical treatment if he cannot safely do his job without risk of aggravating his injuries.

If you are sent home for further medical treatment, keep a copy of your vessel accident report. Ask the doctors for your medical records and “not fit for duty” statement. When you arrive home, immediately make an appointment for follow-up medical care and treatment.

If you are having difficulty getting authorization for recommended medical treatment, email your requests for authorization for treatment to your employer and keep copies of your emails.

Dutch Harbor Is The Fishing Hub of the Bering Sea.

The port of Dutch Harbor is the critical link in the Bering Sea commercial fishing industry. Dutch Harbor is the number one port for commercial fish and shellfish landings in the United States. The Dutch Harbor economy centers around servicing the fishing industry. Crab boats, trawlers and longliners offload their valuable cargos and obtain emergency provisions and repairs on their vessels in Dutch Harbor. The airport at Dutch Harbor provides the key transportation hub for Bering Sea commercial fishermen.

Unalaska, commonly referred to as Dutch Harbor, is a small desolate island located in the subpolar region of the Aleutian Island chain. While much of the Alaska commercial fishing fleet is home ported in Seattle, Dutch Harbor is the operational hub of the Bering Sea commercial fishing industry.

In Dutch Harbor winter weather conditions are harsh, with 3-5 inches of snow on the ground four months out of the year. Average winter month temperatures range from 20-41 degrees; however, wind-chill factors drop these temperatures to below zero. Dutch Harbor is one of the rainiest places in the United States with 253 days of rain each year, compared to 149 days in Seattle.

Dutch Harbor is populated by less than 5,000 permanent residents. The island has just 7 miles of paved roads. Air service from Anchorage can be difficult during the winter months, with commercial flights frequently requiring cancellation. At peak seasons, getting seats on flights to Dutch Harbor can be very competitive. Few commercial fishermen choose to make Dutch Harbor their home; instead, when not fishing, the crews of Alaska commercial fishing vessels return to their homes throughout the united States.