PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard medevaced an ailing cruise ship passenger Saturday approximately 200 miles off the Virginia coast.
Watchstanders in the 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth received notification at about 5:05 a.m. that a 19-year-old female passenger was experiencing severe stomach pain about 400 miles off the North Carolina coast aboard the 1,069-foot cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, en route to New York City.
Command Center watchstanders instructed the Norwegian Breakaway to change course in order to meet a helicopter crew for a medevac. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, at about 4:15 p.m.
The aircrews arrived on scene at the Norwegian Breakaway at approximately 5:42 p.m. about 230 miles northeast of Elizabeth City. The helicopter crew hoisted the woman aboard at about 6:10 p.m.
The woman was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, arriving at about 8:15 p.m.
“The outstanding teamwork among our crews from Air Station Elizabeth City, the 5th District Command Center and the cruise ship allowed for an almost seamless execution of this long-range medevac,” said Lt. Seth Craven, the Jayhawk co-pilot. “We were happy to get this young woman to the care she needed back on shore as quickly as possible.”