Coast Guard Medevacs Diver from St. Croix

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – The crew of an HU-25 Falcon Jet medically evacuated a woman diver who was suffering from decompression sickness, from the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands Monday.

Barbara Gilligan, 52, a resident of Madison Wis., had completed her eighth dive in two days when she began suffering decompression sickness symptoms that required immediate medical attention ashore. At the time of the incident, Gilligan was on a dive cruise aboard a Nekton Cruises 80-foot diving vessel in waters off Frederickstead, Saint Croix.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan controllers received initial notification at 7:40 p.m. Monday from the agent aboard the Nekton Cruises diving vessel that they had a female passenger on board who was suffering from decompression sickness.

Coast Guard controllers launched an Air Station Miami HU-25 Falcon Jet, that is currently deployed to Air Station Borinquen, to conduct the medical evacuation. The captain of the diving vessel coordinated vehicle transportation with a friend to transport him and Gilligan to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport, Saint Croix, where the crew of the HU-25 Falcon Jet landed at approximately 10:43 p.m. Monday and boarded Gilligan onto the aircraft. The HU-25 Falcon Jet crew transported the patient to the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, Carolina, Puerto Rico, where she was transferred to awaiting Emergency Medical Services personnel, who in turn, transported the patient to the Centro Medico Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico to receive further medical care.

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