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Press Release | April 16, 2024

Coast Guard medevacs U.S. passenger from Disney cruise ship 180 miles northwest of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter aircrew conducted a medevac for a Disney Fantasy cruise ship passenger, Monday, in the Atlantic Ocean 180 miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The medevac patient was a 35-year-old pregnant woman, U.S. citizen, who experienced health complications and required a higher level of medical care ashore.

Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a communication from the Disney Fantasy Monday morning requesting medevac assistance as the cruise ship was transiting 260 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  Watchstanders coordinated medevac arrangements and directed the launch of a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft forward-deployed from Coast Guard Air Station Miami to rendezvous with the cruise ship.  Once on scene, the Coast Guard Jayhawk aircrew deployed their rescue swimmer aboard the cruise ship, who prepared a rescue basket and litter to safely hoist the patient and cruise ship doctor aboard the aircraft.

The Coast Guard aircrew transported the patient to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where awaiting local Emergency Medical Service personnel received and transported the patient to the local ‘Centro Medico’ Hospital.

“Our crew was able to quickly, safely, and efficiently execute a long-range MEDEVAC for the patient to receive the higher level of care she required,” said Lt. Cmdr. Todd Stephens. “This case demonstrates the value of good crew resource management and the capabilities of our Jayhawk helicopter.”

“We are glad everything came together to help this passenger,” said Ensign Michael Riccio, Coast Guard Sector San Juan operations unit leader for the case. “The competency displayed by the Disney Fantasy crew and the Coast Guard personnel and units involved made all the difference.”

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