MIAMI (CBS4)— A Coast Guard helicopter and fixed-wing aircrew medically evacuated a 55-year-old women from a cruise ship Friday, approximately 57 miles north east of Nassau, Bahamas.
Search-and-rescue coordinators at the Seventh Coast Guard District command center in Miami received notification at approximately 1:30 p.m. of a passenger on board the cruise ship, Emerald Princess suffering from severe spinal compression.
After consultation between a Coast Guard flight surgeon and medical personnel aboard Emerald Princess, it was determined that a was necessary. Two Coast Guard rescue aircrews from Air Station Miami were launched.
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew arrived on scene prior to the helicopter crew and coordinated with the cruise ship their course, speed and preparation of the deck for a safe hoist. The fixed-wing aircraft crew remained overhead as an immediate rescue asset should an emergency arise from the rescue helicopter.
The helicopter crew arrived on scene at approximately 7 p.m. and hoisted the patient onto the aircraft and transported her to Nassau International Airport, Bahamas for further medical care.
“Night evolutions are always dangerous, add a 16 story high vessel moving at 20 mph to it and hoisting becomes very risky business,” said LT. Bill Dunbar, Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter Aircraft Commander.
The condition of the patient is unknown at this time.