PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard medevaced two passengers Saturday from a cruise ship approximately 240 miles off the North Carolina coast.
Watchstanders in the 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth received a call at about 8:30 a.m. from the Norwegian Breakaway reporting a 28-year-old female passenger was suffering abdominal pain approximately 350 miles east of Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The Coast Guard advised the cruise ship to head toward shore to get within range of a helicopter. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City at about 10:45 a.m.
Both crews arrived on scene approximately 260 miles east of Elizabeth City by 12:45 p.m. The helicopter crew hoisted the woman to the helicopter, along with a 38-year-old man who was also experiencing abdominal pain.
Both passengers were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, arriving at 3:06 p.m.
They were reported to be in stable condition.
“Today’s long-range medevac required cooperation among watchstanders in the command center, crew aboard the cruise ship, the Coast Guard C-130 aircraft, as well as the helicopter,” said Lt. Cmdr. Adam Davenport, aircraft commander aboard the helicopter. “This mission pushed the Jayhawk to the limit of its fuel capabilities. With the C-130 crew arriving on scene first and relaying information about the precise location and clearing restricted airspace, we were able to to maximize fuel efficiency, complete the hoists, and get the patients to the care they needed back on shore.”
The Norwegian Breakaway was headed from Bermuda to New York.