Coast Guard medevacs ailing cruise ship passenger

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., medevaced an ailing passenger from a cruise ship 245 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C., today.

Coast Guard watch standers at the Rescue Coordination Center Portsmouth, Va., received a call from the cruise ship Explorer of The Sea at 12:27 p.m., requesting a medevac for an 83 year-old female passenger suffering from internal bleeding.

Rescue crews aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and a C-130 Hercules airplane were dispatched to the scene.

The woman and a nurse from the cruise ship were hoisted aboard the Coast Guard helicopter and transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where she was turned over to awaiting EMS personnel for treatment.

“We train for this a lot,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Domingo Mercado, the helicopter’s flight mechanic, who operated the hoist during the rescue. “We practice hoists and simulate scenarios so that when we have an actual case, we’re ready.”

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