The US Coast Guard was involved in two medevac operations to transport cruise ship guests to shore for medical treatment.
A six-year-old boy had to be medevaced off the Royal Caribbean ship Harmony of the Seas around 100 miles off the Texas coast. He suffered an undisclosed injury.
Watchstanders issued an urgent call with cost guard crews from Corpus Christi and Houston sent to assist. The boy and his mother were transported from the ship by helicopter and taken to a medical center in Houston. He was in a stable condition.
Two days earlier, the same Coast Guard Air Station in Houston hoisted a man with abdominal pains from an oil tanker located 10 miles south of Galveston, Texas.
A second cruise ship medevac occurred within hours of the first, this time 100 miles north of Puerto Rico. Crew of Holland America ship Nieuw Amsterdam alerted the Coast Guard after an 81-year-old American woman suffered an open fracture in her left ankle.
This required enhanced medical attention ashore. A Jayhawk helicopter arrived, and she was safely hoisted off the ship.
Ship crew praised for their assistance
The Coast Guard complemented the work of the ship’s crew. “The MS Nieuw Amsterdam did an excellent job briefing the medical situation early and preparing a safe hoist area that allowed us to provide excellent care for the patient,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Curren Hinote. The elderly woman was transported to a hospital in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.
The Coast Guard will typically fly out to the cruise ship if the weather conditions arent bad and the vessel is sailing within 200 miles of the coast. If the winds are high, the helicopter will not be able to lower the basket on the deck to retrieve the sick passenger or crew member.