Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Passenger Medevaced from Carnival Spirit

The US Coast Guard performed an interesting medevac from Carnival Spirit on Monday evening as the ship sailed between Vancouver and Hawaii.

The Coast Guard received a call from the cruise ship Saturday afternoon advising them they had a critically ill 63-year-old man aboard while the ship was still hundreds of miles away from Hawaii. Arrival in Hawaii wasn't scheduled until Tuesday, and it was much too far for Coast Guard helicopters to meet. Saturday evening, the crew reported the man's condition was deteriorating.

On Sunday afternoon, the ship again contacted Coast Guard advising them the ship's medical center was running low on a vital medication that the man needed, and they would run out by Monday afternoon at 2pm. The problem was that Carnival Spirit wouldn't be within range of the Coast Guard's helicopters until late Monday afternoon.

The solution the Coast Guard devised was to make a drop of the medication by one of the Coast Guard's long range C-130's Monday afternoon at 12:30pm when Carnival Spirit was still 200 miles northeast of Oahu. The man was later medevaced from the cruise ship about 5:40pm when it was about 100 miles off the Oahu coast. The crew of a Coast Guard HH-65 rescue helicopter then delivered the man to a shoreside medical facility about 6:20pm.

The Coast Guard provided video of the unusual medical drop. In the short video, you can see the crew of the C-130 in silhouette against the open back of the aircraft as it was making the precision drop. As the C-130 is pulling away, you can see how incredibly close it was to Carnival Spirit, shown to the right.

This, of course, proves the Coast Guard delivers as well as making pick ups.