The US Coast Guard (USCG) have airlifted a 71-year-old female cruise passenger suffering breathing problems from Bahamas-bound ship about 20 miles offshore of Melbourne Beach Florida.
The unidentified woman was travelling aboard 2,000-passenger Carnival Ecstasy and was airlifted across the ocean yesterday, just after sunrise, by USCG MH-60T helicopter.
The medium range, all-weather helicopter, dispatched from Clearwater, Florida, flew the woman to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne where she was treated.
“We had a request from the Carnival Ecstasy. The patient was having respiratory issues,” said Petty Officer Luke Clayton, a spokesman for the USCG in Miami.
A flight surgeon approved the flight after communicating with ship personnel. The ship was sailing out of Charleston, South Carolina and was headed to the Bahamas.
“There are parameters that we have to meet in order for us to do something like this. It has to be a serious situation that is life-threatening,” Clayton said.
“It’s not something that can wait until they pull into port,” he said.