Coast Guard Airlifts Pregnant Passenger from Disney Ship

The US Coast Guard conducted a medical evacuation to assist a pregnant passenger on a Disney Cruise Line ship on Monday.

(Photo USCG)

According to reports, the 35-year-old woman had been experiencing pregnancy-related complications and required more comprehensive medical care than Disney Fantasy could provide. 

The US Coast Guard described the long-range evac, saying, “A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew conducted a medevac for a Disney Fantasy cruise ship passenger, Monday, in Atlantic Ocean waters 180 miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.”

The woman was airlifted to the helicopter on a stretcher, with the vessel’s physician accompanying her. She was then brought to the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and transferred to Centro Médico, a hospital in San Juan. 

(Photo USCG)
Ensign Michael Riccio acknowledged the joint efforts. “We are glad everything came together to help this passenger. The competency displayed by the Disney Fantasy crew and the Coast Guard personnel and units involved made all the difference,” Riccio said.

Disney Fantasy was on a seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing when the emergency occurred. The Dream-class vessel left Port Canaveral on April 13 with scheduled stops at The Bahamas, Disney Castaway Cay, St. Thomas, and Tortola. It will return to its Florida homeport on the 20th.

How well-equipped are cruise ships’ medical facilities?

Cruise ships offer 24-hour medical support through at least one doctor and two nurses. Their facilities are designed to treat minor non-urgent health issues like gastrointestinal and respiratory concerns. They are also capable of stabilizing patients who are experiencing life-threatening conditions. 

A disney cruise ship docked at a port with a clear blue sky above, and a nearly empty parking lot in the foreground.
Disney Fantasy

In addition, these vessels have pharmacies and quarantine procedures to help them deal with common illnesses. 

Life-threatening injuries or conditions like heart attacks, serious falls, and pregnancy complications (as was the case for the Disney Fantasy passenger) may require medical evacuation so that necessary procedures can be administered.

While medical evacuations may require payment from passengers, a travel insurance policy can help offset unexpected expenses.

Disney Cruise Line’s pregnancy policy states women at or beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy at embarkation or during the cruise will be denied boarding for safety reasons.

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