This week, a 71-year-old man was airlifted from his cruise ship after becoming seriously ill. The ship, Anthem of the Seas, was 51 miles off of the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey, when the captain alerted the Coast Guard to the need for a medical evacuation. According to reports, the cruise passenger was suffering from potential kidney failure and required immediate attention.
An MH-65 Dolphin aircrew from Air Station Atlantic City conducted the air lift, bringing the ailing passenger to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center for further medical treatment. Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Reaves explained, “In this case, the timely notification allowed our crews to reach the man and deliver him to higher medical care quickly and efficiently.”
At this time, we have no further information on the man’s condition. However, we send him our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.
Prompt Notification of Medical Emergencies is Key
In the wake of this event, we echo the sentiment of Officer Reaves. Ultimately, it is always in the patient’s best interest to alert the Coast Guard of the need for an emergency evacuation as soon as possible. Given the fact that most cruise lines are not equipped to handle serious medical emergencies at sea, prompt notification of the appropriate rescue teams is paramount to ensuring that all ailing passengers are tended to as swiftly as possible.
While a rescue is easier when a ship is closer to the shore, efficient emergency notification is especially important when the ship is further out, or experiencing potentially challenging weather conditions. In non-optimal conditions, more time will be needed to properly prepare and execute an evacuation to shore.
Unfortunately, we often see that once a medical emergency arrives, cruise lines place profits before the safety and well-being of an ill or injured guest. A decision to divert the vessel so that a passenger can obtain urgent medical care can disrupt the vessel’s scheduled itinerary and impacts the bottom line. Other times, the medical staff may not to recognize the seriousness of a situation and fail to call for an emergency evacuation all together.
Of course, we understand that no one plans on falling seriously ill while at sea. However, you should know that, if you do, it is far better to opt for the airlift than to attempt to manage your symptoms aboard the cruise. Regardless of whether you are on a domestic or international journey, the majority of the time, the safest bet is to accept the transport to land, where you can be evaluated in a properly outfitted medical facility.
Let Us Help You Navigate Your Case
In some cases, you may believe that the conditions aboard your cruise or during a shore excursion may have led to an accident or injury that necessitated an emergency airlift. As maritime lawyers, we know how challenging it can be to know where to turn after an accident at sea. That is why we are here to help.
Our team has experience with a wide range of accident and injury cases, and knows how to successfully sue the major cruise companies, so that you get the results that you deserve. Although a legal ruling may not undo the harm that was caused to you or your family, it can help provide resolution so that you can move forward with your life.
Do you have questions about your legal situation? If so, then do not hesitate to contact us.