Coast Guard medically evacuates three ill cruise ship passengers

Coast Guard District 14 NewsHONOLULU – Three ill passengers were medically evacuated from the 934-foot cruise ship Oosterdam by Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point air crews aboard two MH-65 Dolphin helicopters approximately 90 miles off the coast of Hilo, Hawaii, Tuesday morning.

The Coast Guard received a call from the captain of the Oosterdam at approximately 8 p.m. Monday requesting a medical evacuation for three passengers. The ship was en route from Maui, Hawaii to California. A Coast Guard flight surgeon and the ships medical doctor both recommended the patients be medically evacuated via helicopter due to their conditions. A 76-year-old female was reportedly suffering from abdominal pain, an 86-year-old man suffered a heart attack and an 82-year-old man was suffering from internal bleeding.

In addition to the two helicopters, the Coast Guard also launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane to provide cover and assist with communications during the medevac.

The first helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to the ship where he assisted in safely hoisting the patients into the helicopter. The two patients were transported to Hilo Airport where they were transferred to an awaiting ambulance. The second helicopter safely hoisted the third patient and flew directly to Hilo General Hospital.

”This is a classic example of how the Coast Guard used multiple resources to effect a medical evacuation of three elderly patients to get them critical care,” said Lt. Max Seda, a watchstander at Joint Rescue Coordination Center, Honolulu.

Weather on scene included four to five-foot seas and 15-knot winds with strong local showers in the area of the cruise ship.

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