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Coast Guard performs double medevac from cruise ship off NC coast

Two passengers from a cruise ship about 160 miles off the coast of Wilmington needed to be medevaced by the Coast Guard. The 18-year-old and 82-year-old were both suffering from heart attack like symptoms.
Credit: Matthew Belson/U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images
File photo of a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helocopter.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) — A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, NC medevaced two passengers off a cruise ship about 160 miles southwest of Wilmington on Friday.

Coast Guard crews in Portsmouth were contacted by the cruise ship Anthem of the Seas late Thursday morning. Crews reported an 18-year-old man was suffering from symptoms of a heart attack and needed medical assistance. The cruise ship was directed to change course in order to get closer to shore.

The Anthem of the Seas contacted the Coast Guard again Thursday evening to request the medevac of an additional passenger, an 82-year-old male, who was also suffering symptoms of a heart attack.

Air Station Elizabeth City launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew early Friday morning to medevac the two men.

Once on the scene, the helicopter crew hoisted the two passengers, and a nurse from the cruise ship, and transported them to a hospital in Wilmington.

"We train every day for types of scenarios like long-range medevacs in order to maintain our proficiency and our mission readiness," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Andrew Ruga, a rescue swimmer on the case. "Our crew is thankful that we were able to get these men the proper medical attention they needed."

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