Coast Guard medically evacuates cruise ship passenger

HONOLULU – Coast Guard aircrews piloting two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters conducted a medical evacuation of a 35-year-old Polish woman suffering symptoms of pneumonia aboard the cruise ship The World, approximately 92 miles southwest of Kona, Big Island, Friday.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu was notified of the patient’s condition at approximately 9 p.m. Thursday.

At the time, the vessel was 293 miles southwest of Kona, Big Island. The World was originally en route to Honolulu but diverted to the Big Island to conduct the medevac. The ship’s doctor was treating the patient and her condition was stable at that time. The ship’s doctor reported that the ship would have an insufficient amount of oxygen by the time they reached port, due to the amount the patient was consuming, at 6 a.m. Friday.

The Coast Guard flight surgeon, upon hearing this, recommended the patient be medically evacuated and taken to a hospital ashore to receive treatment.

Coast Guard aircrews aboard two Dolphins and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point were launched to conduct the medevac. The C-130 provided air cover for the operation. The first Dolphin rendezvoused with the ship 115 miles south of the coast to deliver oxygen for the patient at 11 a.m.

The second helicopter met the ship 92 miles southwest of Kona and safely hoisted the patient at approximately 12:15 p.m. The patient was taken to Kona Community Hospital for further treatment.

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