Coast Guard air crews drop medical supplies, rescue ill man from cruise ship

HONOLULU — A U.S. Coast Guard air crew medically evacuated an ill 63-year-old male from the cruise ship Carnival Spirit Monday.

Eleventh Coast Guard District Command Center watch standers, located in Alameda, Calif., received the distress call from the crew of the 959-foot cruise ship Saturday at 1 p.m.

Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) watch standers n Honolulu were contacted at 11 p.m. Saturday after the cruise ship’s doctor reported the man’s condition was deteriorating.

JRCC watch standers placed the cruise ship on a firm communications schedule. The ship’s doctor reported Sunday afternoon that the man needed vital medication by 2 p.m. Monday because the ship’s supply was running low.

An Air Station Barbers Point C-130 long-range search plane crew air dropped the medication to the cruise ship 200 miles northeast of Oahu at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

When the cruise ship was 100 miles of Oahu Monday, an HH-65 rescue helicopter crew medically evacuated the man via a rescue basket at 5:40 p.m.

The man was taken to Tripler Army Medical Center at 6:20 p.m.

“The communications between the JRCC, Eleventh (Coast Guard) District and cruise ship personnel were vital to the success of this operation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Franco Hernandez, a JRCC watch stander.

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