Cruise ship passenger medevaced 200 miles off Virginia coast

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard medevaced a cruise ship passenger who was experiencing severe stomach pain.

The 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth received an alert at around 5:05 a.m. about a 19-year-old woman feeling ill about 400 miles off the North Carolina coast. The woman was aboard the cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, which was on its way to New York City.

Watchstanders told the Norweigan Breakaway to change course so they could meet a helicopter crew for a medevac. A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew left from Elizabeth City, North Carolina at about 4:15 p.m.

Crews arrived to the ship, which was about 230 miles northeast of Elizabeth City, at around 5:42 p.m. The woman was medevaced around 6:10 p.m.

The passenger was flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk.

“The outstanding teamwork among our crews from Air Station Elizabeth City, the 5th District Command Center and the cruise ship allowed for an almost seamless execution of this long-range medevac,” said Lt. Seth Craven, the Jayhawk co-pilot. “We were happy to get this young woman to the care she needed back on shore as quickly as possible.”

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