At 10:39 a.m., Wednesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector San Diego received a report from the crew of the cruise ship Star Princess that a 28-year-old male crewmember was experiencing symptoms of acute appendicitis.
The Coast Guard duty flight surgeon recommended that the patient be medically evacuated and taken to a hospital for emergency care. At the time of the report, the vessel was more than 350 miles south of San Diego heading towards Los Angeles.
A Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was launched at 3:08 p.m., arrived on scene, then safely hoisted the man at approximately 4:45 p.m.
“A long-range medevac is a testament to the teamwork and coordination of everyone involved,” said Lt. Scott Verhage, pilot of the Jayhawk from Sector San Diego. “Our crews train diligently for these situations and their professionalism truly shines when we have a successful case such as this. The ship’s crew should also be commended for their professionalism and readiness to help a fellow crewmember in distress.”
A Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, California, HC-130 Hercules aircraft was also assigned to support the mission due to the distance from shore.
At approximately 6:40 p.m., the Jayhawk crew returned to Sector San Diego, where he was transferred to awaiting EMS.
He was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego. He was in stable condition.