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.

Comments (3)
  1. Chris W Strand says:

    It was my wife who was airlifted off of the Emerald Princess on the 7th of January, 2012. She was cleared by a hospital in Weston, Florida to fly to our hometown of Mercer Island, Washington (suburb of Seattle). Due to the valiant efforts of the Coast Guard and the crew of the Emerald Princess, potential permanent paralysis was avoided. She is resting in Seattle, awaiting surgical recommendations.

    1. Zacky says:

      i had never heard of Stratton bofree, but she seems like an amazing woman. Also, she lived to 107?! She must have been some lady!

  2. Adediran says:

    Your great aunt ieednd sounds like a remarkable and incredibly accomplished woman. No doubt she will be remembered long after the unfortunate woman with the similarly spelled name is forgotten.