Coast Guard helicopter aircrew airlifts man from cruise ship

MIAMI – A Coast Guard aircrew medically evacuated a man from a cruise ship suffering from a heart condition Monday night.

Cruise Ship Coral PrincessThe crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant received a request for a medical evacuation from the cruise ship, Coral Princess at approximately 6 p.m., Monday. The patient was suffering from a heart condition and required immediate transfer to an emergency care facility.

Valiant’s crew established communications with the captain of the Coral Princess and acquired the cruise ship’s location and patient status. Valiant’s crew also discussed the cruise ship’s configuration with the captain and coordinated the best approach for Valiant’s embarked HH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

Within the hour, the Dolphin aircrew was launched. Once on scene with the Coral Princess, the aircrew hoisted the patient and a doctor from the cruise ship. The patient and doctor were transported to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where they were transferred to a Life Flight jet bound for the United States for treatment.

“The patient’s heart could have stopped at any time,” the Coral Princess doctor told the aircrew. “It was critical that we got him to a hospital in the States as soon as possible. You saved this man’s life tonight.”

Valiant is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Miami Beach, Fla.

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