The US Coast Guard performed an unusual nighttime helicopter evacuation from Emerald Princess Friday evening (January 6, 2012) when the ship was sailing 57 miles northeast of Nassau.
The Coast Guard received the call from Emerald Princess about 1:30pm requesting the medevac for a 55-year-old female passengers suffering from severe spinal compression. The Coast Guard launched two aircraft, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft and an MH-65 helicopter, from their air station at Miami.
The HC-144 arrived on the scene first and began coordination with Emerald Princess. The MH-65 helicopter arrived at approximately 7pm to hoist the passenger from the deck. The fixed-wing aircraft remained on the scene to assist should an emergency arise from the rescue helicopter.
“Night evacuations are always dangerous. Add a 16-story-high vessel moving at 20 miles per hour to it, and hoisting becomes very risky business,” said LT. Bill Dunbar, Air Station Miami MH-65 helicopter Aircraft Commander.
The woman was taken to a Nassau hospital for treatment.