A passenger who had suffered what was believed to be a heart attack on the cruise ship Norwegian Getaway, which was bound for St. Thomas, was airlifted Monday by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.
Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watchstanders received a request for assistance from the crew of the Norwegian Getaway at approximately 8 p.m. Monday. The ship was in transit from Miami to St. Maarten and was scheduled to stop Wednesday at St. Thomas.
The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen to carry out the rescue. The helicopter and aircrew arrived on scene about 80 nautical miles north of San Juan and deployed their rescue swimmer to the cruise ship to assess the patient’s condition.
The patient then was placed in the helicopter’s rescue basket and hoisted aboard the aircraft.
"The seamless and expedient hoist and recovery of this patient is a true testament to the Coast Guard aviation standardization and the professionalism of the captain and crew of the Norwegian Getaway," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Dill, commander of the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.
The Coast Guard helicopter crew transferred the man to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan for transport to a local hospital to receive medical care.