Multiple media outlets, including, Click 3 Houston, report that “the Coast Guard medevaced a 71-year-old woman from a cruise ship 58 miles off the coast of Galveston to the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston on Sunday morning.”
Representatives from the Carnival Valor contacted the Coast Guard, alerting them that a passenger was in need of medical assistance. A helicopter crew was dispatched along with a nurse. They arrived to cruise ship in open waters of the Gulf of Mexico and hoisted the woman off the ship.
You can view video of the event courtesy of Defense Visual Information Distribution Services (DVIDS) here.
The passenger was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. No details of the passengers condition before or after the airlift have been released.
Passengers are medevac’d from cruise ships when it’s deemed by the medical personnel on the ship that the passenger requires more care than the onboard staff can provide. Generally, this is an assessment that is made by the ship’s medical staff early enough so that the U. S. Coast Guard has time to respond, dispatch a rescue crew, airlift the passenger and return them to a proper medical facility.
Timing is important, especially if passengers are the victims of strokes, heart issues, internal bleeding or other medical conditions which are outside the realm of care that can be provided by the cruise ship’s staff.
The Coast Guard averages multiple medevac’s each month from cruise ships.