This week, a 70-year-old Australian woman was airlifted from her cruise ship, as it sailed off the coast of Maui, Hawaii. The ship, Regatta, was 276 miles from Maui, making its way back to San Diego, when the Coast Guard received the first alert. According to reports, the woman was suffering from severe abdominal pain and required immediate attention.
In order to help facilitate the rescue, the ship turned back towards the Hawaiian island, so the MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew could safely bring the woman to shore. Due to unfavorable weather conditions, an HC-130 Hercules aircrew was also on the scene to provide cover. The woman was transported to Kahului Airport in Maui where local emergency medical services personnel were standing by to take her to Maui Memorial Medical Center. She was last reported in stable condition.
A watchstander at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu applauded the ship’s medical team saying, “We commend the medical staff of the Regatta for recognizing that the woman needed immediate medical attention…Due to the quick actions of the Regatta and our Coast Guard crews, this woman was able to get the appropriate medical care she needed.”
Safety at Sea: A Number One Priority
In the wake of this event, we are also glad to know that the on-board medical professionals and the Coast Guard were able to work together successfully to ensure that the health and safety of the passenger in need was given top priority.
While no one anticipates needing emergency medical attention at sea, the truth is that this scenario happens far more often than anyone would like. As a general rule, it is always a good idea to ensure that your primary physician and any other members of your medical team have approved your travel before you depart. Although it can feel like an overly cautious step, it could save you from needing an airlift out of paradise.
That said, there are many medical emergencies that pop up suddenly, after lying undetected. In these cases, you should be able to rest assured that the crew and the nearest Coast Guard will do everything they can to bring you to safety.
Unfortunately, the limited abilities of cruise medical facilities means that many injuries and illnesses must be referred to hospitals on land. And while an emergency transport can be an intimidating thought, it is ultimately in the patient’s best interest.
Injured on a Cruise? We Can Help
At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we understand that your accident or injury may not have been your fault. If you are on a cruise and believe that unsafe conditions may be to blame, rest assured that we are here to help.
With our firm’s 100 years of combined experience in maritime law, we know the challenges you are facing, and the steps needed to overcome them. In many cases, speaking with a maritime lawyer may be just what you need to get your life back on track.
Ready to take the next step and move into a life free from the burden of your legal situation? Contact us today to get started.