Coast Guard conducts double medevac from cruise ship off coast of N.C.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, medevaced two passengers off of a cruise ship approximately 160 miles southeast of Wilmington Friday morning.

Coast Guard watchstanders at the 5th District headquarters in Portsmouth were contacted by the crew of the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas late Thursday morning. The crew reported that an 18-year-old male passenger was suffering symptoms of a heart attack and needed medical assistance.

The watchstanders directed the ship to change course in order to get closer to shore so a medevac could be conducted.

The Anthem of the Seas contacted the Coast Guard again Thursday evening to request the medevac of an additional passenger, an 82-year-old male, who was also suffering symptoms of a heart attack.

Air Station Elizabeth City launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a HC-130 Hercules airplane crew early Friday morning to medevac the two men.

After arriving on scene, the helicopter crew hoisted the two passengers and a nurse from the cruise ship, and transported them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

“We train every day for types of scenarios like long-range medevacs in order to maintain our proficiency and our mission readiness,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Ruga, a rescue swimmer on the case. “Our crew is thankful that we were able to get these men the proper medical attention they needed.”