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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 11:11 a.m., Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Coast Guard evacuates crew member from cruise ship

Advertiser Staff

The Coast Guard conducted a medical evacuation of a crew member aboard a Holland America cruise ship on Monday.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point responded to a distress call at 4:30 p.m. on Christmas day about a 40-year-old man neding medical evacuation from a ship in waters nearest to the Big Island.

Crew members of an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a C-130 search plane responded Monday night, after waiting for the ship to get closer to land.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was deployed to recover the evacuee and a nurse, who was aiding with medical treatment aboard the ship.

The cruise ship's nurse stayed with the evacuee during the helicopter evacuation to continue rendering care The rescue swimmer was left behind on the ship overnight because of limited helicopter fuel and weight concerns.

The crew of the C-130 search plane circled above while the crew of the helicopter conducted the evacuation. The helicopter then flew back to Hilo to rendezvous with the C-130 crew. Emergency crews took the evacuee and nurse to the C-130 for a flight to Honolulu.

After the plane touched down at Honolulu International Airport around 4:15 a.m. yesterday morning, county emergency medical technicians took the patient to The Queen's Medical Center.