Coast Guard medevacs two men from two cruise ships


Coast Guard air crews forward deployed to Cordova had a busy past few days as they medevaced two different people from two separate cruise ships.

Coast Guard spokesperson Ali Blackburn in Kodiak said both passengers were transported to commercial medevac services for further care.


“The first case happened Thursday afternoon aboard the cruise ship Radiance of the Seas.

“The 72-year-old male passenger was reportedly suffering a heart attack. The Coast Guard air crew transported him and a ship’s nurse to Cordova where they met a Guardian Flight team. The man was then taken to Anchorage.

“The second case happened Saturday morning for an 80-year-old man who was reportedly experiencing stroke symptoms aboard the cruise ship Westerdam. They again hoisted the patient and a nurse, and transferred the man to an Airlift Northwest commercial medevac crew.”


Air Station Kodiak crew medevacs man from Holland America Line Amsterdam. Screen grab from CG video.


It is often reported that a helicopter or C-130 crew transported a patient to an awaiting jet ambulance, which then takes the patient on to Anchorage for more advance medical treatment.

Blackburn said that Coast Guard-commercial jet ambulance partnership is essential in Alaska. She paraphrased Air Station Kodiak pilot Lt. Steven Podmore.


“Those commercial partnerships with Guardian flight and Airlift Northwest are vital to our air crews’ operations in Alaska. They can transport patients really quickly to hospitals. And this allows our air crews time to refuel, get back in the air for the next rest rescue opportunity. So they’re very important to us.


The Holland America Line Westerdam, which was the location of Saturday’s possible stroke, is the sister ship to the cruise ship Amsterdam, a frequent visitor to Kodiak this summer. In fact, the Amsterdam is scheduled to be in port on Wednesday (tomorrow).

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