Elderly Woman Rescued From Cruise After Heart Attack

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

An emergency department sign.

When you prepare for your vacation, the last thing you want to think about is the possibility of a health emergency. Naturally, you may pack over the counter medication and your normal daily vitamins, to ensure that you stay healthy and happy while cruising the open seas. However, there are some situations that even the best planning cannot accommodate.

A heart attack is one condition that can neither be eased with a first-aid kit, nor with pre-vacation planning. For most people, it seems that symptoms of a heart attack come out of nowhere. This can be terrifying when you are in your normal environment. But when you are on a cruise, your concerns over your safety may be even higher.

After all, who will be there to help? Can you call 911? How will you get to shore? These are all valid questions to have in mind when you set off on your dream vacation. In fact, these are questions that can apply not just to heart attack cases, but to all cases of illness or injury while on the water. A recent news event reminds us of the importance of being well prepared for your next cruise vacation.

On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, an 81-year-old woman was rescued from her cruise vessel after experiencing heart attack symptoms. The ship, the Carnival Imagination, was off the coast of San Diego, about 33 miles from La Jolla.

KGTV reports that when the San Diego Coast Guard was contacted, it was 9pm on Monday, May 30th. The rescuers had enjoyed a relatively uneventful day, a stroke of good fortune since it was Memorial Day. They were playing video games in the duty room, almost ready to go to bed for the evening.

But as soon as the alarm sounded, the crewmembers jumped into action. Because Coast Guardsman Michael Innis keeps the rescue boat ready to go at a moment’s notice, it did not take long for the rescuers to reach the woman’s cruise ship.

Once there, they made her as comfortable as possible, wrapping her in blankets to keep her warm as they brought the woman, her husband and a nurse back to shore. Innis explained that they treat all calls as personal emergencies, because they would want the same done for their own family members.

Once on land, the woman was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, where her condition remains unknown.

Often, we report on breaking news where crewmembers or rescuers are somehow at fault, or where fatal injuries were incurred. It is refreshing to relay stories like this one, where, in the face of emergency, the right people were called to action to bring about the most desirable result.

Although we are grateful to hear that this situation was handled to the best of everyone’s ability, we know that this is not always the case. If you are sick or injured aboard a cruise, there are a few things you should know. And should you need legal assistance, we are always here to help.