Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Passenger from Grandeur of the Seas

The U.S. Coast Guard was summonsed to a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Friday night after a 58 year old woman was severely injured in a fall.

News accounts say that the Coast Guard responded to the Grandeur of the Seas.

The Coast Guard launched a rescue boat from a station in southern Maryland on the the Chesapeake Bay.

The 58 year old passenger and her husband were transported to the Point Lookout Marina and then airlifted to a trauma unit in Baltimore.

Photo credit: Wikipedia / J. Glover creative commons 3.0

Grandeur of the Seas

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Carnival Miracle

Yesterday we mentioned that the U.S. Coast Guard flew 400 miles out to sea from Honolulu to drop blood supplies to the Carnival Miracle to help the ship medical team treat a passenger with internal bleeding.

But the passenger's medical condition continued to worsen, and the Coast Guard returned to the Carnival cruise ship with a helicopter to medevac the sick man.

The Miracle was approximately 80 miles north of Oahu at the time of the rescue. The crew hoisted the man from the cruise ship around 9 p.m. Tuesday and took him for emergency medical treatment.

Video credit: U.S. Coast Guard via Star Advertiser 

 

Need Blood in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean? Call the U.S. Coast Guard!

The Coast Guard is back in the news with emergency medical supplies delivered to a cruise ship passenger in distress.

Yesterday a C-130 Coast Guard aircrew flew over 400 miles to drop units of blood to a Carnival cruise ship northeast of a island (Oahu) in Hawaii.  

The Carnival Miracle contacted the Coast Guard in  Honolulu Sunday afternoon requesting medical assistance for an ailing 76 year old passenger with internal bleeding.

After the passenger's condition worsened, the Coast Guard launched the C-130 from Air Station Barbers Point in Honolulu early Tuesday morning. It arrived at the cruise ship in the afternoon and dropped the blood via a small parachute. 

Photo and Video Credit: U.S. Coast Guard via KHON 2 

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September 25 2014 Update: The Coast Guard returned to the Carnival Miracle with a helicopter and medevaced the passenger after his medical condition continued to deteriorate.

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Carnival Inspiration

The United States Coast Guard News reports that a Coast Guard  helicopter from San Diego performed a medical evacuation of 34 year old a passenger who was suffering from appendicitis aboard a cruise ship 35 miles southwest of San Diego on Sunday. 

The Carnival Inspiration contacted the Coast Guard early Sunday morning and requested a medevac for the passenger. 

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter flew to the cruise ship, hoisted the passenger aboard, and transported him to San Diego for  emergency medical treatment. 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Carnival Inspiration

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Matthew Baker Creative Commons 3.0

False Man Overboard Report on the Pacific Pearl

Pacific PearlThis morning I received a message from a Facebook friend that there was a search underway for a man overboard from the Pacific Pearl. The cruise ship was sailing off Newcastle, New South Wales.

But the only information I could find were a couple of posting on the Cruise Critic board. 

One person said that " . . . all passengers had to go back to cabins for over an hour and do a rollcall. The ship was stopped and they found 2 lights in the water, apparently lifejackets. It is believed someone threw them in the water."

It was interesting to see the path of the cruise ship on a AIS tracking system. You can clearly see the ship make a Williamson maneuver to return to the spot where the ship thought the person went overboard.

It was nice to see that it turned out to be a false alarm.

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From HAL Oosterdam

OosterdamThe Coast Guard News reports that a Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter medevaced a 84 year old passenger from the Holland America Line cruise ship Oosterdam near Glacier Bay last week. 

The helicopter flew from Sitka and hoisted the elderly passenger from the cruise ship and transferred her to Juneau.

The Oosterdam reported that the woman was possibly suffering from a stroke. The Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended that the woman be medevaced from he cruise ship. 

We first heard of the incident from another passenger who emailed us today, saying:

"While sailing on the Oosterdam on 9/5/14 in Glacial Bay Alaska, we had a helicopter medical evacuation. The conditions were very poor, heavy fog. The Coast Guard out of Sitka, Alaska did a great job. The Coast Guard in Alaska, work in hazardous conditions, and deserve many thanks."

If you have a thought about this case, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Sergey Yarmolyuk Creative Commons

Guernsey Coast Guard Medevacs Severely Ill Passenger from the MSC Opera

BBC News reports that a "severely ill" passenger had to be evacuated from a MSC cruise ship. 

The MSC Opera was anchored off Guernsey. According to the BBC, the Guernsey Coast Guard described the patient's illness as severe. 

Guernsey is an island near Normandy in the English Channel between France and England. 

Photo Credit: Guernsey Harbours via BBC Jersey

MSC Opera

Coast Guard Medevacs Ill Passenger From Carnival Fantasy

Carnival FantasyAccording to First Coast News, a Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a 67-year-old woman from the Carnival Fantasy to a Jacksonville hospital yesterday evening.

The passenger was reportedly experiencing life-threatening symptoms.

The Coast Guard helicopter, based out of Air Station Clearwater, lifted the cruise passenger off the ship and flew her, along with her husband and a cruise line nurse, to UF Health Jacksonville.

Neither the cruise line nor the passenger has to pay for these emergency medevac services.

The United States taxpayers foot the bill.

Caribbean Princess Passenger Overboard, Rescued

Cruise expert professor Ross Klein reports, based on passenger accounts, that a passenger went overboard from the Caribbean Princess and was rescued on August 2, 2014.

Here are the two separate accounts told to Professor Klein:

"I was on a cruise on August 2, 2014 on the Caribbean Princess out of Fort Lauderdale. A 24 year old male passenger went overboard around 10 pm. We were stopped for about an hour. They did find him alive in the water. I think he jumped from the 8th deck. They took him to medical after rescue. Some passengers said he was a "special person" but I don't know if that is true. There was a group from a Caribbean Princess group home on board. That's really all I know."

"The man overboard happened around 7:50 PM - the "Man Overboard - Crew to your muster stations" announcement was made with just a little sunlight left, but by the time we stopped and turned around, and the rescue boat took off it was dark. The man was rescued relatively quickly (10-15 minutes). Either people threw him life jackets or he jumped with one. We also heard rumors of mental health, and we can confirm there was a group on board but we don't know if he was part of that group. We also heard he was put off at the next port (St Thomas) but cannot confirm. There appeared to be another rescue boat that helped with the search, possibly from another ship?"

This is the third passenger overboard in two months that was not mentioned in the press or discussed on social media. 

A 70 year old passenger went overboard from the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas on August 7, 2014. There were no rescue attempts by the ship and no announcements by the crew.

A passenger in his 20's jumped from the Splendor of the Seas on June 13, 2014. Fortunately, the cruise ship personnel rescued him.

Regarding this most recent overboard, we have reached out to Princess for a comment.  We will publish whatever Princess has to say if it responds.  

 

Have a thought about this or any of the recent cruise overboards?  Leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

Photo Credit: loimere / Flickr

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Carnival Fascination

Carnival FascinationA local CBS news station reports that the Coast Guard medevaced an ill passenger from a cruise ship today. 

The Miami Coast Guard station received a message this morning that a 26-year old man aboard the Carnival cruise ship Fascination was suffering symptoms of appendicitis.  At the time, the Carnival cruise ship was about 32 miles east of Lake Worth, Florida.

The cruise passenger was medevaced by a small Coast guard vessel and taken to a marina where local emergency medical workers were waiting.

Providing emergency medical services like this is one of the many services which our federal government provides for free to cruise lines like Carnival. 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Carnival Ecstasy

A local FOX News station in Clearwater, Florida reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a passenger with a medical emergency from a Carnival  cruise ship.

The Carnival Ecstasy was sailing around 250 miles southwest of the Florida Keys on Thursday, when a 51 year old male passenger began experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

The Coast Guard crew flew out to the cruise ship in a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. They hoisted the sick passenger onto the helicopter and flew the man to a hospital. 

FOX 13 News

Overboard Passenger Rescued from the Splendour of the Seas?

I have received inquiries from passengers about a man overboard from Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas last month. The incident seems to involve a passenger who jumped into the water early one morning. He was promptly rescued.  Most people are asking why hasn't there been any news account of the incident? 

One passenger provided the following account, and asked "is RCCL keeping this under wraps? The Captain and crew should be congratulated."

Splendour of the Seas"He was a 20ish American male passenger on ship with his parents and a brother. He apparently tried to start a fire in the early morning and security was called. He was extremely inebriated. When security arrived he ran and jumped overboard. This happened around 4:30 a.m. on the 13th of June. Around 4:45 or so Oscar, Oscar, Oscar was called out by security who saw him jump, and the Captain turned the ship immediately.

I was awoken at 5:00 a.m. from the loud sound of the stateroom as the ship was sharply turning. The walls of our room "groaned" loudly. As I got up and walked to my veranda, I realized we were listing badly toward the sea. As I got outside, I smelled smoke. Then we spotted someone (we were on the 8th deck) below us throwing out a flare. There were 3 flares in the water by now - thus the smell of smoke. We then heard "help" hollered out 6 times just off our side of the ship.

Then a life boat came about around the front and went directly to him. We were very close to this but could not actually see them lift him out. It was black out. However, they announced "we have him, he's alive, will be going to Medical." We heard a very few folks clapping from above us.

We heard he went to Medical and stayed there until we disembarked on Saturday the 14th in Venice. As we came into port, the pier was on our side of the ship. We saw Policia drive up and 3 uniform men got out and boarded our ship.

This was RCCL Splendour of the Seas "7-Night Greek Isles & Turkey" cruise from June 7-14, 2014."

Were you a passenger or crew member aboard the cruise ship when this incident occurred?  Do you have any information, photograph or video to share? Please leave a comment below and let us hear from you,

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Exequiel Pérez Millán

U.S. Coast Guard Medevacs Cruise Passenger From Carnival Paradise

Carnival ParadiseThe U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an ill 65-year-old woman from the Carnival Paradise early this morning.

The Carnival cruise ship was approximately 70 miles west of Boca Grande, Florida. 

According to the Coast Guard, the master of the cruise ship notified the Coast Guard station in St. Petersburg, around 10:46 p.m. last night, that the passenger needed medical assistance due to chest pains. A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended that the passenger be medically evacuated from he ship.

At approximately 1 a.m. this morning, a Coast Guard helicopter, a MH 60 Jayhawk, lifted the passenger and a cruise ship nurse aboard and transported them to Tampa General Hospital.  

Video Credit:  dvidshub.net via News-Press; Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Beau Hudspeth - Digi-Gen Design Studios

 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Bahamas Celebration Cruise Ship

The Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a cruise passengers from a cruise ship returning from Freeport Bahamas yesterday.

The Coast Guard deployed a MH-65 dolphin helicopter to perform a medical evacuation of a a 56-year old male passenger suffering severe pain aboard the Bahamas Celebration northeast of Palm Beach, Florida, on May 18, 2014.

The man was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Video Credit: U.S. Coast Guard via DVIDS  

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Two Passengers From Carnival Splendor

The U.S. Coast Guard released a video showing a medevac of two passengers yesterday morning, approximately 135 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The Coast Guard stated that it medevaced a 25-year-old man and 60-year-old woman at around 5:45 a.m. from the Carnival Splendor after the cruise ship being reported them ill and in need of emergency medical attention. Earlier, a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules were dispatched.

The Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the two passengers from the ship and up and flew them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. 

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from the Carnival Imagination

Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System reports that a San Diego-based Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter evacuated an ill woman from a Carnival cruise ship yesterday.

The Carnival Imagination was approximately 30 miles off the coast of Point Loma, California on May 7, 2014 when it contacted the Coast Guard and requested a medevac for a 41-year-old American woman, believed to be a passenger. She was experiencing abdominal pain.

Video (no audio) credit to U.S. Coast Guard video.   

 

Norwegian Gem Medevac Involved Honeymoon Couple

Two days ago we mentioned that the Coast Guard medevaced a sick passenger from the Norwegian Gem cruise ship. Like most other Coast Guard medevacs, there was not much information available regarding the identity of the ill passenger. 

Today a news station in Salt Lake Utah aired a short segment explaining who the passenger was and what happened on the NCL cruise ship.

KSL Utah explains that the medevac involved a honeymooning couple who were enjoying their cruise until the husband, Brent Killian, became ill and he needed medical evacuation.  

The Gem was approximately 180 miles east of North Carolina, requiring a Coast Guard helicopter to take him ashore for emergency medical treatment.

The wife, Jo, was naturally anxious when her newly-wed husband was hoisted into the sky, but she took everything in stride. The news station reports that the couple has already booked another cruise.

We have reported on other helicopter rescues of ill passengers from the Norwegian Gem.  Watch a video of the July 14 2014 medevac from the Gem here

  

Carnival Ecstasy Intercepts 41 Cubans at Sea

 Multiple news sources are reporting that a Carnival cruise ship spotted a boat packed with dozens of Cuban migrants in the Florida Straits Tuesday night. 

The Coast Guard says the Carnival Ecstasy spotted the migrants' vessel Tuesday evening. Officials say the small boat wasn't seaworthy and lacked lifejackets and navigation equipment. I think that goes without saying when Cubans or others from Caribbean islands take to sea in rafts or make-shift boats.

The Ecstasy stopped and took 41 Cubans aboard. Carnival then transferred the Cubans to the Coast Guard for return to Cuba.  Under the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, Cubans who make it to U.S. soil are allowed to stay in the U.S., but Cubans stopped at sea are returned back to Cuba. home.

Carnival Cruise Lines Rescues Cubans at SeaWe have mentioned many stories like this over the years. Usually there is great excitement by the cruise passengers that they were involved in the "rescue" of people at sea. Yes, the Cuban people were rescued from the sea but they are returned to Castro's Cuban and the conditions which caused them to risk their lives. 

Last week we commented on this issue in an article entitled Cubans "Trying for the American Dream" End With An Empty Boat. In that case, Carnival intercepted 24 Cubans who were escorted by the Coast Guard back to Cuba. 

I wonder whether any of the 41 Cubans picked up by the Carnival Ecstasy Tuesday night had tried to cross again after being picked up last week? 

 

Photo Credit: AP / Local 10 news

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Norwegian Gem

NCL Medevac Cruise Ship The Coast Guard issued a statement today that it rescued a man in medical distress from the Norwegian Gem cruise ship. 

The Coast Guard stated that the NCL cruise ship called for assistance when the ship was sailing around 80 miles off the coast of Nags Head, North Carolina. The Coast Guard received the distress signal at approximately 2:30 PM.  It sent a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. 

As you can see in the video, it looks like the crew had a little difficulty getting the passenger into the helicopter.

The helicopter crew hoisted the man onto the helicopter round 5 PM and flew him back to land where he was transported by ambulance to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City. 

Photo Credit: WCTI 12

March 28 2014 UpdateNorwegian Gem Medevac Involved Honeymoon Couple (VIDEO)

 

Cubans "Trying for the American Dream" End With An Empty Boat

Cubans "rescued" on the high seas are hardly rescued. They are brought aboard cruise ships only long enough to be transferred onto Coast Guard cutters to be taken back to Cuba.

According to WPTV:  

"Some were saying they should be sent back. Other people were sad. Some women were crying because they realized how sad it must be," Almashy said.

Almashy says a photo she snapped of the empty boat will stay with her forever.

"When I looked at that, it was a haunting image of people trying for the American Dream. It was very symbolic of the hopes and the risks."

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Carnival Splendor

WAVY.com reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaces a cruise passenger from a carnival cruise ship last night.

The Carnival Splendor notified  the Coasy Guard around 10:45 p.m. last night that a 66 year old man was in medical distress. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina to assist.

The helicopter crew arrived at the cruise ship around 1:30 a.m. about 50 miles east of Wilmington and hoisted the passenger. The Coast Guard took him to Wilmington International Airport where he was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.  

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship

The U.S. Coast Guard announced today that it rescued a 51-year-old cruise passenger who was suffering from undisclosed medical issues while aboard a Carnival cruise ship approximately 130 miles southwest of Key West, Florida. 


Shortly after noon yesterday, the Coast Guard in Key West received a report from the Carnival Liberty indicating that a cruise passenger suffered an illness while crossing the Gulf of Mexico.


The coast Guard launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Clearwater. 
When the helicopter arrived, the aircrew hoisted the passenger transported him to Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West. 

 

Coast Guard Responds to Injured Passenger on Grandeur of the Seas

The U.S. Coast Guard provided emergency transportation for an injured cruise ship passenger this morning.

The Coast Guard released a statement that it medevaced a 93-year-old man from Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas in the lower Chesapeake Bay.

The Royal Caribbean ship contacted the Coast Guard via VHF-FM at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday night and reported that a passenger suffered a head injury and was in need of medical assistance.

The Coast Guard crew, together with Virginia Beach Fire Department personnel, responded with a 45-foot response boat. The crew arrived at the cruise ship at approximately 1:30 a.m. this morning. They transferred the man and his wife aboard the Coast Guard boat and took them ashore. The passengers were then transferred to local emergency medical services and taken to Virginia Beach General Hospital.

There is no indication how the passenger was injured.  Many people have informed us that the Grandeur encountered rough weather heading back to port, although it is unknown whether the passenger's injury was related to sea and wind conditions.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / J. Glover

Grandeur of the Seas

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger From Carnival Paradise

Carnival Paradise MedevacThe U.S. Coast Guard reports that it medevaced a 66-year-old passenger from a Carnival cruise ship yesterday when the ship was approximately 180 miles southwest of Marco Island, Florida. 

The Carnival Paradise contacted the Coast Guard around 2:00 PM yesterday regarding a male passenger who was suffering from an undisclosed medical illness while the cruise ship was sailing to Tampa.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was dispatched from the Coast Guard's station in Clearwater.

FOX News reports that when the Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived at the cruise ship, the aircrew lowered their rescue swimmer, hoisted the ill cruise passenger and transported him to Tampa General Hospital for medical care. 

Photo Credit: FOX 4

 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Disney Fantasy

Disney Fantasy MedevacWPLG Local 10 News reports that a Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a 21 year old passenger from the Disney Fantasy cruise ship yesterday. 

The 21 year-old man had finished two scuba dives near Key West and returned to the Disney cruise ship complaining of chest pain. The ship medical doctor took x-rays and determined that one of his lungs was partially collapsed.

The doctor consulted with the Coast Guard which medevaced the passenger.

Photo Credit: Coast Guard via WPLG Local 10

 

 

 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Passenger From Carnival Splendor

News sources are reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a woman from a Carnival cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean off Toms River, New Jersey yesterday. 

The Coast Guard in Philadelphia was notified by the Carnival Splendor that an 84-year-old Canadian woman fell, and sustained injury to her hip, and needed emergency medical treatment. 

A Coast Guard helicopter flew from Atlantic City and medevaced the injured woman from the cruise ship to Atlantic City. 

Carnival released the following statement to Cruise Law News: 

"On Wednesday night a female guest on the Carnival Splendor in need of immediate medical attention was airlifted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter shortly after the vessel departed New York on an eight-day cruise. The guest was taken to a shoreside medical facility for further treatment.

Carnival Splendor is sailing on an eight-day cruise that departed New York on Feb. 5 and is scheduled to return on Feb. 13."

Marine Traffic AIS shows the following tracking for the Splendor:Splendor Cruise Ship AIS 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia - top; Marine Traffic - bottom

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger From Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship

Carnival Fantasy Cruise ShipThe Tampa Tribune reports that the Coast Guard medevaced an ill passenger via helicopter from a Carnival cruise ship today. 

The Coast Guard in Miami sent a helicopter to medically evacuate a 27-year-old man from the Carnival Fantasy after he began experiencing severe abdominal pain. 

The cruise ship was reportedly more than 80 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The helicopter hoisted the sick passenger and a cruise ship nurse off the cruise ship and then transported the ill man to Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach around noon today.

The cruise ship was heading back to Charleston, South Carolina.

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Passenger From HAL Veendam

Veendam Cruise ShipThe U.S. Coast Guard Sector in San Diego sent a helicopter to a cruise ship approximately 150 miles west of San Diego yesterday (January 23rd).

The Defense Video and Imaging Distribution Services reports that a 69-year-old woman fell down a stairwell and suffered head injuries and internal bleeding.

The video was taken by U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.

The name of the cruise ship was not released. However, an AIS tracking site indicates that the Holland America Line Veendam turned around and began heading back toward San Diego.

You can watch the helicopter land after transporting the injured woman from the HAL ship.

The Veendam was last in the news when an elderly woman went overboard earlier this month. 

Photo Credit: Holland America Line via L.A. Times 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs 68 Year Old Passenger from Carnival Elation

Carnival Elation Cruise ShipDefense Video and Imaging Distribution System (DVIDS) reports tonight on another medevac of a cruise ship passenger by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Today, the Carnival Elation cruise ship notified the Coast Guard that a passenger was suffering from cardiac symptoms and needed to be medically evacuated.

The Coast Guard in New Orleans sent a MH-65D helicopter to the Carnival cruise ship and hoisted a 68-year-old man from the ship.

The Coast Guard said that the passenger experienced symptoms of cardiac arrest.

The cruise ship was 60 miles offshore of the Southwest Pass, Louisiana.  

The helicopter transported the ill passenger to the LSU Medical Center.

 

Video Credit: Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / P. Alejandro Diaz

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Woman from Grandeur of the Seas

According to the Defense Video & Imagery Service, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 56-year-passenger today from a cruise ship. 

The Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas notified the Coast Guard at approximately 10 PM last night that the woman was is medical distress. The cruise ship was approximately 300 miles east of Orlando, Florida. At approximately 3:30 AM this morning, a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk took off by Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

The helicopter arrived at the cruise ship at 6:20 AM. and transported the woman to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina.  

 

Double Duty: Coast Guard Performs Medevacs of Passengers From Norwegian Breakaway and Carnival Fascination

Carnival Fascination Cruise Ship MedevacThe last two days have been busy for the U.S. Coast Guard medevacing ill passengers from cruise ships.

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an 87-year-old woman from the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship off the coast of Ocracoke, North Carolina yesterday. 

The NCL cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard yesterday shortly before noon regarding an elderly passenger who required unspecified medical assistance.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter flew to the cruise ship from Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

The cruise ship was approximately 38 miles off the coast. the helicopter crew hoisted the woman aboard the helicopter and flew her to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, North Carolina. 

  

The second medevac involved the Coast Guard hoisting a woman from the Carnival Fascination cruise ship. The Coast Guard in Miami said that the Carnival cruise ship contacted it after a woman was showing signs of cardiac arrest on Sunday night.

The ship was approximately 38 miles offshore from St. Lucie County. 

The Coast Guard helicopter flew the woman to Broward General Hospital where she was reportedly in stable condition.  

 

 

 

Allure of the Seas Leaves Lifeboat in Nassau

Allure of the Seas LifeboatThere's an interesting comment on the popular on line cruise community Cruise Critic that the Allure of the Seas left Nassau 2 hours late yesterday because of an issue with the lift cable of lifeboat number 1. According to this passenger, the cable to the lifeboat apparently snapped and needs repair.

The issue arises whether there are sufficient lifeboats for all of the passengers and, if not, whether the cruise line has obtained a waiver from the flag state (the Bahamas).

There seems to be some suggestion floated out there that the Allure has more lifeboats than necessary.

I have written about  the lifesaving systems on the Allure and the Oasis before: Titanic Redux? Can Royal Caribbean Safely Evacuate 8,500 Passengers & Crew from the Oasis of the Seas? 

Royal Caribbean says that it normally has 18 lifeboats which each carry 370 people for a total of 6,660 passengers. (Crew members have to slide down chutes into liferafts). So with only 17 lifeboats aboard, the cruise ship has a capacity of 6,290.  How many passengers are on board now? Wikipedia says that the Allure has a maximum capacity of 6,296. 

One person commented on Cruise Critic that the capacity of 370 includes 16 crew assigned to each boat, so it actually carries 354 passengers. With only 17 lifeboats, there is room for only 6,018 passengers.

I'd hate to see an emergency and a problem develop with another lifeboat.

Has Royal Caribbean issued a statement about this?

Have a thought? Please join the discussion on Facebook.

December 11 2013 Update: Cruise Critic just published an article pointing out that Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas was sailing without one of its lifeboats after a pulley malfunctioned in Cabo. Cruise Critic obtained a quote from a Royal Caribbean spokesperson claiming that the Allure of the Seas is permitted to sail with a lifeboat missing because ""we had enough safety crafts for everyone onboard the ship . . . Our ships carry extra lifesaving vessels at all times."  Unfortunately, the cruise line's comments are vague. It refers to life "crafts" but does not specify whether it has enough life "boats" for the passengers versus life "rafts" which are used for the crew and which you have to enter by jumping down a 60 foot chute, which is dangerous.  What exactly is the number of passengers currently aboard the Allure?

A number of people have left comments on our Facebook page saying "no big deal" because the passengers can just jump down a chute into a raft if a lifeboat or two are missing. Take a look below and ask yourself whether you or your family want to do this.  We have also reported on 20 crew members being seriously injured jumping down one of these type of chutes.

   

Photo Credit: anglofiles.com

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Carnival Victory

Carnival Victory Cruise Ship ABC News reports that a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter (MH-60) and aircraft (C-130) were dispatched from Clearwater Florida in response to an emergency request from the Carnival's Victory cruise ship this morning.

The cruise ship was reportedly near Cuba at the time of the call.

Cruise passenger Herman Lebron, age 88, was suffering from internal injuries and needed evacuation. 

Mr. Lebron was flown to Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West, Florida.

His current medical condition is unknown.

You can see the video of the medevac below, courtesy of  defense video and imagery distribution system.

Two days ago, we posted a story about the Coast Guard medevacing an ill woman from the Carnival Miracle cruise ship. 

Photo Credit: Carnival Victory - Wikipedia / Tomás Fano

Video: Coast Guard Medevacs 34 Year Old Passenger From Carnival Miracle

Coast Guard Medevac Cruise ShipChannel 7 San Diego reports that a Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a woman from a Carnival cruise ship today after she began internally bleeding approximately 600 miles south of San Diego.

The Carnival Miracle contacted the Coast Guard last night, requesting a medevac for the 34-year-old woman.

A helicopter flew from San Diego to met the ship, which was nearly 300 miles south of San Diego at the time of the rescue.

The helicopter crew hoisted the woman and transported her to San Diego where she was transferred to emergency medical personnel for further medical care. 

You can see a Coast Guard video of the amazing medical rescue below.

Have a thought? Please leave a message below or join the discussion on our Facebook page

Freedom of the Seas Responds to Three Medical Emergencies

Freedom of the Seas - Medical EmergenciesThis evening Cruise Critic reported that Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas altered her itinerary yesterday because three passengers were evacuated from the cruise ship for medical reasons.

The popular online community said that a helicopter airlifted one person from Coco Cay.  Later, the cruise ship was diverted to Nassau, Bahamas to send two other people to the hospital.  A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean reportedly said that the three incidents were not related. 

There was no indication regarding the nature of illnesses and/or injuries or whether the medical emergencies involved passengers or crew members.

The Freedom of the Seas stopped at San Juan today rather than sail to St. Thomas.

There is no indication whether passengers will be offered any type of compensation for the missed port. 

If you have any information about the nature of the medical emergencies, or have video or photos to share, please leave a comment, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit: Freedom of the Seas - Wikipedia / Andres Manuel Rodriguez

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Norwegian Breakaway

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an 81 year old man from a Norwegian Cruise Line ship off the coast off Cape Hatteras early this morning. 

The Norwegian Breakaway contacted the Coast Guard around 4 a.m. this morning to report that a passenger was suffering a heart-attack.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew responded to the ship, 55 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, and flew the passenger to Sentara Norfolk General hospital.  

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Carnival Passenger with Broken Legs

A local news station in Broward County reports that the U.S. Coast Guard has medevaced a seriously injured passenger from an unidentified Carnival cruise ship today.

The woman, who sustained injuries to both of her legs, was hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter and flown to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. 

The news station states that Coast Guard Sector Miami was notified by cruise personnel that the 52-year-old woman had fallen in an elevator, severely injuring both of her legs.

This was the second Coast Guard medevac of a passenger from a Carnival cruise ship today. Earlier this morning, a Coast Guard helicopter rescued a passenger from the Carnival Splendor.

Coast Guard Medevac Carnival Cruise Ship

 

Photo Credit: Local 10

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger From Carnival Splendor

A news station in Norfolk Virginia reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an ill passengers from a Carnival cruise ship near Norfolk to a local hospital today. 

The news station states that this morning at around 10:45 A.M., the Carnival Splendor cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard regarding a 57-year-old woman who required medical assistance.

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. dispatched a helicopter crew to respond to the medical emergency.

The Coast Guard helicopter flew to the cruise ship, which was about 80 miles east of Norfolk, at around 12:30 P.M. The Coast Guard crew then hoisted the woman into the helicopter and flew her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

 

Woman Falls Overboard, Treads Water Until Rescued: Who's Responsible?

Carnival Destiny Cruise Ship - Man OverboardInside Edition aired a program about a 29 year old woman "Sarah" who sailed on the Carnival Destiny to celebrate her 30th birthday. After too much drinking, she fell from the balcony into the water. 

Despite the pleas of her cabin mate and another passenger, the captain sailed on. It took an hour and a half to turn around and rescue her. Carnival then allegedly delayed her medical treatment by refusing to call for emergency medical evacuation.

Carnival says that it acted properly.  

The case has ended up in court and raises a number of issues common in the cruise industry.

Is this a case simply of a passenger exercising a lack of personal responsibility by drinking too much? Or is this a case which involves a lack of corporate responsibility by over-serving the passenger too much alcohol and then sailing on after there was a reasonable indication that she had gone overboard?

Why didn't the cruise line have an automatic man overboard system as required by the Cruise Vessel Safety & Security Act which was enacted into law to deal with this exact situation?

Read our articles about the case:

Why Did Carnival Delay Rescuing An Overboard Passenger From The Destiny?

Carnival Booze Cruise Disaster Ends Up In Court,

Disappearances at Sea: Cruise Industry Refuses to Comply with Cruise Safety Law,

If you have a thought about this case, please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

 

 

Photo credit: Jetaria Taylor

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from Queen Mary II

Queen Mary IIWWLP reports that the Coast Guard rescued an ill 67-year-old man from the cruise ship Queen Mary II, 47 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. 

The cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard, requesting assistance for a passenger suffering from severe bleeding.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was sent with a rescue crew to medically evacuate the passenger. The helicopter hoisted the man and brought him back to Air Station Cape Cod for ground transport to Cape Cod Hospital.

The newspaper quoted a Coast Guard spokesperson saying:"Hoisting an injured passenger off an underway cruise ship takes a surprising amount of expertise and moving parts, and our crews take pride every time they do it. This case is a great example of our unique role as maritime first responders."

The Coast Guard last rescued a sick passengers from the Queen Mary II in December 2011 when it hoisted an ill 64 year old woman from the cruise ship off the coast of North Carolina.  You can see a video of that rescue below. 

Photo Credit of Queen Mary II: Brian Burnell via Wikipedia

 

What Governmental Shut Down? Coast Guard Drops Blood for Sick Passenger Aboard the Oosterdam Heading to Hawaii

Coast Guard - Oosterdam  The U.S. Coast Guard comes to the rescue again.

Our Federal Government may be in the middle of a shutdown, but the Coast Guard aircraft and helicopters are still flying to help cruise ship passengers in distress on the high seas.

The latest story comes from a newspaper in Hawaii, the Maui News, which reports that a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane flew over a 1.000 miles to "drop six units of blood, a pack of platelets, and two transfusion kits via parachute to medical personnel aboard the Oosterdam."

The heroics were in response to requests for assistance by Holland America Line (HAL) which was dealing with an ailing elderly passenger who was suffering from internal bleeding.  The situation was critical because the cruise ship was far out at sea, heading to Lahaina, Maui. 

You can see the blood drop in the video below.

Photo/ Video Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Melissa McKenzie, courtesy US Coast Guard, via Maui News. 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from HAL's Westerdam

A CBS station in San Diego is reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 75-year-old man who suffered a heart attack while aboard a Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship. 

The Coast Guard received notification late last night that that a HAL passenger was experiencing a medical emergency aboard the Westerdam cruise ship. at the time, the cruise ship was 15 miles off of Mission Bay, California. 

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from San Diego and the patient and the ship's nurse were hoisted and taken to the hospital.

You can see the medevac operation in the video below courtesy of Coast Guard News.

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger from Golden Princess

Local news stations in San Francisco are reporting that the U.S. Coast rescued a cruise passengers man suffering from acute kidney failure aboard a Princess cruise ship 40 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday morning.

A 79-year-old Canadian man was demonstrating symptoms of kidney failure while aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship which was sailing to Los Angeles. 

The Coast Guard helicopter lowered a crew member was lowered onto the ship and then hoisted the sick passenger and the cruise ship’s nurse up to the helicopter. 

The passenger flown to Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and was in stable condition Friday afternoon.

Video Credit: U.S. Coast Guard via NBC Bay Area

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Cruise Passenger From Diamond Princess

KCAW reports that a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, based in Sitka, Alaska, medevaced a 72-year-old woman from the cruise ship Diamond Princess in Icy Strait on September 19, 2013.

The woman, suffering from convulsions, was safely transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel in Sitka, about 100 miles south of Icy Strait. EMS then transported her to Sitka Community Hospital for further care.

Seas were calm at the time of the medevac, with 12 mile winds and 6 miles visibility.

The video below is courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard / Air Station Sitka. 

 

 

Crown Princess Rescues Syrian Refugees in the Mediterranean Sea

Crown Princess RescueThe Daily Echo reports on the remarkable story of Syrian refugees rescued today at sea.

One of the unlikely heroes is the Princess Cruises cruise ship Crown Princess which responded to the plight of 158 refugees escaping the bloodshed in Syria in an un-seaworthy vessel consisting of 44 children, 20 women and 94 men. The refugees were spotted 100 miles off the coast of Sicily. 

The situation was particularly dramatic with a pregnant Syrian woman was hoisted into an Italian Coast Guard helicopter which flew the woman to a hospital in the Sicilian city of Catania, where the woman gave birth to a baby girl shortly after the helicopter landed. 

Princess Cruises received a boatload of bad press when the Star Princess allegedly sailed past a fishing boat in distress following which two men died at sea and one young man suffered greatly. Princess denied that it observed or abandoned the fishing vessel and submitted evidence that the claim was unfounded.        

Take a look at the video of the rescue below.

It you have photos or video, contact us. We will post them here and on our Facebook page. 

September 19 2013 Update: The Daily Mail has some amazing photos of the rescue.

Photo and Video Credit: Daily Echo 

Overboard Ferry Passenger Rescued in Puget Sound

A number of news sources are reporting that a woman who apparently jumped from a Seattle-based ferry yesterday into Puget Sound has been rescued by the Coast Guard. 

The M/V Wenatchee was reportedly crossing from Bainbridge Island to Seattle's Colman Dock when the women went overboard. A witness who observed the woman in the water alerted the vessel's crew and two rescue boats were dispatched.

The Coast Guard said that they were notified of the incident around 1:45 P.M. yesterday. 

Two other ferries, the Tacoma and the Kitsap, were summoned to assist in the search.

A Coast Guard vessel rescued the woman about 40 minutes after the Coast Guard was notified. The woman, who was in her 40's, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in stable condition.Wenatchee 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / S.S. Sol Duc

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Crew Member From Carnival Conquest

The U.S. Coast Guard released a statement that a helicopter crew medevaced a 34-year-old Indonesian crew member from the Carnival Conquest while the cruise ship was sailing 172 miles southeast of New Orleans yesterday.

The 8th Coast Guard District received a report from the Carnival cruise ship that a crew member fell and struck her head on the deck. At the time of the report, the cruise ship was out of the flight range of the helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard directed the Carnival cruise ship to head toward New Orleans.

The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans launched at 9:30 A.M. Carnival Conquest Cruise ShipIt refueled on an offshore drilling rig en route to the cruise ship. The helicopter arrived on scene at 11:20 A.M. and safely hoisted the crew member. The Coast Guard then flew her to Interim LSU Public Hospital for further medical treatment.

Earlier this year, the Coast Guard station in New Orleans medevaced a 46-year-old passenger from the Carnival Conquest cruise ship when the ship was approximately 60 miles south of Southwest Pass. That rescue occurred on February, 16, 2013. The cruise passenger was suffering from a brain hemorrhage and needed medical evacuation to a hospital ashore via helicopter.

Photo Credit: Above Carnival Conquest - Wikimedia / Norman Einstein; below Coast Guard medevac of crew member from Conquest - Jim Zimmerlin

Carnival Conquest Coast Guard Medevac

Belfast Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Thomson Spirit Cruise Ship

Thomson Spirit Cruise ShipA newspaper in Ireland reports that the Belfast Coast Guard arranged for the airlift of a 78-year-old woman from a cruise ship last night due to a heavy nosebleed. The doctor aboard the MS Thomson Spirit reportedly became concerned for the passenger's health.  

The Belfast Coast Guard requested the assistance of a Coast Guard helicopter based in Dublin which responded to the emergency call at last night around 10 P.M.  The helicopter lifted the passenger from the cruise ship which was located just south of Strangford Lough.

The cruise passenger arrived at Dublin airport around 12:20 A.M. and was then brought to hospital for further treatment which stopped the bleeding. 

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Clive Curry

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from Norwegian Dawn

Cape Code Today reports that U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 50-year-old man from a NCL cruise ship 160 nautical miles from Nantucket. The man was hoisted by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and flown to meet an ambulance in Hyannis and then transported to Cape Cod Hospital. 

The cruise ship is reportedly the Bahamian flagged Norwegian Dawn. 

The passenger reportedly ruptured his spleen after being struck by a kayak in Bermuda on Monday.

The Norwegian Dawn is best known to Miami maritime lawyers as the cruise ship involved in the infamous "rogue wave" case in 2005. Passengers contended that NCL risked the passenger's safety by sailing in rough weather back to New York for a filming of The Apprentice with Donald Trump. A lawsuit filed by a different maritime lawyer against NCL ended in a defense verdict for the cruise line.  

Norwegian Dawn

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Daniel Schwen

Cruise Industry Ignores Law Requiring Man-Overboard System

There have been 8 Congressional hearings in the House and the Senate since December 2005 regarding issues of cruise passenger safety. One of the most talked about problems has been the issue of passengers going over-board from cruise ships. 

Over the years, there has been a discussion about the problem and the necessity of requiring the cruise industry to install systems to detect when people go overboard from cruise ships.

The International Cruise Victims (ICV) organization has been responsible for bringing this issue to the public's attention. The CEO of the ICV, Ken Carver, lost his daughter, Merrian Carver, disappeared under suspicious circumstances from the Mercury cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises' subsidiary, Celebrity Cruises. Although the cabin steward knew that Ms. Carver was no longer in her Man Overboard System MOB - Cruise Shipcabin early on during the cruise, his supervisor instructed him to do nothing about it. The cruise line never reported the incident to the Alaska State Troopers, or the FBI, or the flag state. Celebrity then discarded the majority of Ms. Carver's clothes and personal effects. You can read about the disturbing story here

Mr. Carver attended the first Congressional hearing in 2005 which was convened following the disappearance of George Smith during a honeymoon cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.  By all accounts, other passengers probably threw Mr. Smith over the railing of his cabin, but there have been no arrests over the last 8 years.

The cases of both Ms. Carver and Mr. Smith remain "mysteries."

Mr. Carver and the Smith family founded the ICV because their children disappeared at sea under suspicious circumstances with the cruise lines being uncooperative.  

Subsequent Congressional hearings has focused on the disappearance of other cruise passengers. Although the cruise industry claims that it does not track man over-board cases, cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein has a list of over 200 people who have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000.  Of course, crew members in addition to passenger have disappeared from cruise ships. 

Royal Caribbean and its subsidiary Celebrity has experienced 11 people going overboard since October 2010

In 2010, after years of opposition by the cruise industry, Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act to address the issue of properly detecting persons who go overboard.

The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act (CVSSA) requires that ‘‘the vessel shall integrate technology that can be used for capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent that such technology is available.’’ 

Three years later, it appears that few cruise ships have been fitted with the required technology. (Editor;s note October 1, 2013: Since publishing this article, we have been informed that some Disney cruise ship have infra-red man overboard systems which are in compliance with the CVVSA, and these systems have been in place over a year). Cruise passengers and even a larger number of crew members have continued to disappear from cruise ships without explanation. 

There is no question that the technology exists to detect when a person goes overboard which will immediately signal to the bridge, capture an image of the person going overboard, and record the exact location.  See the video in this article I wrote about man overboard systems here

But instead of installing these systems, most cruise line are still having to review hours and hours of CCTV images after a report of a man overboard is made to try and figure out when and why a person went overboard. In the case of cruise passenger Jason Rappe who went overboard from Holland America Line (HAL) Eurodam cruise ship last year, HAL did not install the required man overboard system even though several cruise passengers recently disappeared on HAL ships.  

The delay in determining when a person goes overboard increases the area which the Coast Guard is required to search by air and sea, and reduces the chances of locating and rescuing the person overboard.  It also substantially increases the expenses borne by U.S. taxpayers.  The Coast Guard expenses in the Jason Rappe search efforts by the U.S. Coast Guard were almost $1,000,000.  

Another problem also exists. If a person can go overboard undetected, then people can just as easily come onto a cruise ship undetected - like terrorists, pirates or criminals.     

Last year, Congress commented on the cruise industry's lack of progress in implementing the requires man overboard systems. Congress commented: "the degree to which the cruise industry has complied with this requirement is entirely unclear. There may be additional camera surveillance (but no indication that this is the case), however there has not been adoption of any of the active measures recommended by the International Cruise Victims Association in discussions with the industry prior to the legislation being passed. There are many systems available, many manufactured and marketed in the U.S., but none of these appear to be under consideration for adoption, no doubt because of the cost involved."

In addition, the the U.S. Coast Guard posted a Federal Register Request for Input from the maritime security Industry, and received a number of proposals, but there is no indication that these have been acted upon. Proposals were received from Seafaring Security Systems and Radio Zealand DMP Americas, along with supporting documentation which was posted on the U.S. Coast Guard website.

I have found only one cruise line which has agreed to install a state of the art man overboard on some of its ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) recently agreed to install a system by Seafaring Security Systems on two of its newest ships which are being built.  The Seafaring company describes the "Varuna Man Overboard System," or V-MOB, as a "revolutionary system designed to enhance safety, security and situational awareness aboard ships." Here's the company's description of the product.  

"The V-MOB is a unique integration of advanced cameras, sensors and a customized graphic interface that automates surveillance and detection around the ship’s perimeter, alerting the crew to anomalies such as man-overboard, fires, and unauthorized boarding.

When an overboard incident occurs, the V-MOB sensors detect it, GPS coordinates to the overboard site are recorded, and designated personnel are alerted via specific alarms. The V-MOB significantly enhances the opportunity for rapid rescue of overboard personnel.

The V-MOB system detects the presence of fire sooner than contemporary fire detection systems (recent testing provided alarms two minutes before existing fire detection systems) commonly found on ships, thereby maximizing fire suppression and extinguishing efforts.

The V-MOB system also detects unauthorized attempts to board from deck railing, alerting security personnel onboard the ship to provide critical response time to meet and deal with the threat in a timely manner."

I first read about the Seafaring system in a July 24 2013 article in Maritime Executive entitled "Seafaring Security Systems Wins Surveillance Systems Bid on Norwegians New Ships."  (The article is no longer available on line.)

A system like this will reduce rescue time and expense, safe lives, and assist in apprehending criminals when foul play is involved. 

If the news is correct, then NCL should be applauded for being a leader in implementing the new man overboard technology.  It's a shame none of the other cruise lines appear to have have done so.

 

Photo Credit: Seafaring Security Systems 

Pulled from the Fog: 85 Year Old Cruise Passenger Medevaced from Balmoral in English Channel

Balmoral Cruise Ship - Helicopter MedevacThe BBC reports that a Royal Air Force helicopter winched a woman off a cruise ship in the English Channel "after becoming ill with a potentially 'life-threatening' condition."

The passenger is a 85 year old woman who was sailing on board the Balmoral cruise ship. The ship had departed Southampton and was heading to Norway.

BBC states that the medical evacuation by the helicopter took place under difficult circumstances as the helicopter from Suffolk had to flew to the ship, which was in heavy fog, 40 miles out at sea. The weather conditions caused the rescue efforts to become "extremely challenging." 

Visibility was only 165 feet and the cruise ship was describes as "completely enclosed in fog." An airman stated "we had to use radar to locate the vessel because we could barely see."

The 85-year-old woman was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Tvabutzku1234

Ill Cruise Passenger Medevaced From Coral Princess

The Alaska Dispatch reports that a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter medevaced an ill cruise ship passenger off a cruise ship yesterday.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew, stationed in Sitka, flew to the Princess Cruises' Coral Princess cruise ship while it was in Glacier Bay. The helicopter hoisted the passenger, who was suffering from stroke-like symptoms, and transported her to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.   

Coral Princess Glacier Bay Alaska

Photo Credit: Get Up and Go Magazine 

Carnival Dream Rescues Two Boaters

Carnival Dream Cruise Ship Following a year of fires, disabled ships, non-working toilets and bad cruise news, Carnival Cruise Line needs all of the help it can get.

This weekend Carnival received some free PR when the U.S. Coast Guard called upon the Carnival Dream cruise ship to rescue two Bahamian men stranded in the waters off Florida.

Deon Lathen and Ted Lainge's disabled vessel, Tera Bite, was 30 miles east of Sebastian Inlet when the Coast Guard called on the Carnival cruise ship to help with the rescue.

According to CBS News, the cruise ship picked up the stranded men and transferred them to a Coast Guard cutter. The men have been taken to Fort Pierce.

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Kuloskulo

Coast Guard Medevacs Cruise Passenger from Carnival Splendor

Over the weekend, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a cruise passenger who suffered a heart attack from a cruise ship 150 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

The rescue involved a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft to assist.

The video below shows the crew aboard the Jayhawk helicopter hover over cruise ship Carnival Splendor in the Atlantic Ocean, 150 miles east of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, Saturday, May 18, 2013. The crew medevaced a heart attack patient and a nurse from the ship and took them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. 

 

 

Disney Wonder Picks Up More Cuban Rafters

Earlier this week the Disney Wonder was involved in another incident where it picked up Cuban rafters at sea trying to sail to South Florida.  This was the third such incident where a cruise ship stopped rafters at sea in the last ten days.

You can read about the prior case involving the the Disney Wonder here, and a prior incident involving the Carnival Conquest here.   

Some people call these type of incidents "rescues" but the fact is that unless Cuban migrants reach dry land, they are transported back to Cuba and often end up in one of Castro's jails. I call them "interceptions." Watch the video below where it appears that the rafters were not in distress and do not appear to have been wanted to be "rescued" by the Disney cruise ship. You can watch the video here.

Photos of Cuban Immigrants' Boat "Rescued" by Disney Wonder Emerge

A passenger aboard the Disney Wonder sent a couple of photographs of the boat "rescued" between Cuba and South Florida.

As we mentioned yesterday, the Disney Wonder and the Carnival Conquest cruise ships were involved in separate incidents where they picked up Cuban nationals who had set out to sea to try and escape Cuba and get here to the U.S.  

Carnival released a number of photos of the rubber boat which the Conquest responded to which we posted in our earlier blog article.

The photos below of the wooden little boat were taken by a passenger Darrin Heath who is aboard the Wonder with his family.

Photos like this seems sad to me. The boat was filled with people with their hopes and dreams of a better life here. Now they are floating at sea empty. And the people once aboard will return to Cuba.  

Disney Wonder Cruise Ship rescues Cuban Rafters

Cuban Rafters Boat Rescued By Disney Wonder

Carnival & Disney Cruise Ships Intercept Rafters Heading to South Florida

Cruise Ships Rescue Cuban ImmigrantsThe U.S. Coast Guard is reporting that yesterday two cruise ships responded to migrants at sea in two separate incidents. A Coast Guard representative characterized the migrants as floating in two "rustic vessels" south of Key West Florida.

The cruise ships involved are the Disney Wonder home ported in Miami, and the Carnival Conquest which is based in New Orleans. 

Carnival stated that the Conquest picked up 13 Cuban nationals about 40 miles from Key West. (The photo released by Carnival shows men aboard what appears to be a yellow rubber boat around 18'). The Carnival cruise ship then rendezvoused with a Coast Guard cutter near Key West to transfer the Cubans to the custody of the U.S.  

Disney stated that the Wonder picked up eight people about 45 miles from Key West, but did not disclose their nationality.  You can see photos of the boat of Cubans here.

Cuban Rafters - Cruise Ship RescueThe migrants were reportedly half way between Havana and Key West when they were stopped. 

Numerous media accounts are suggesting that it is currently unknown what would be done with the migrants, but that's nonsense. In all cases I have seen where cruise ships picked up Cubans on the high seas the Coast Guard sends them back to Cuba. 

Carnival has been under criticism for relying on the Coast Guard when its ships catch on fire and are disabled at sea but it does not reimburse the federal government, The cruise line took advantage of the event to try and get some good press. Its President Gerry Cahill stated in a press release:

“We are happy to have come to the aid of these individuals and to support the long-established tradition among the global maritime community of providing assistance to mariners in distress.” 

I'm not too sure that the Cuban refugees will be too "happy" when they end up in a jail courtesy of Castro's Cuba. 

Leave a comment or join the discussion on Facebook: Is this a "rescue" or an "interception?"

Cuban Rafters - Cruise Ship Rescue

 

 

Photo Credit:

Migrants in boat: Carnival via WWL TV

Chart: Daily Mail

Did Liberty of the Seas Rescue Two Cuban Boaters? Royal Caribbean Isn't Sure

Last Sunday the Liberty of the Seas cruised upon two stranded boaters as the cruise ship was returning from the Caribbean.  The ship stopped and picked up two Cuban men.

As WPTV reports, Royal Caribbean originally said that its cruise ship picked them up. But later it issued this statement, saying: The two Cubans did not board the Liberty of the Seas, but were retrieved by a coast guard vessel…"

But cruise passenger Emily Zazdin, who filmed the rescue, said  "I got video of them coming up to the ship and they were taken aboard."  

The Coast Guard said they picked up the two men from the cruise ship and found they have legal status in the U.S. The Coast Guard took them to the border patrol offices in Marathon, where their legal status were confirmed, and they were released.

You can see in the video (courtesy RSS 622) at the bottom the Coast Guard arriving at the cruise ship to take the men away in a Coast Guard vessel.  

Just goes to show you, take anything the cruise line PR people tell you with a grain of salt.

 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from HAL's Zaandam Cruise Ship

HAL Cruise Ship MedevacTwo U.S. Coast Guard air crews from San Diego and Sacramento worked together to medevac a sick cruise ship passenger who was in need of emergency medical attention. 

According to NBC-7 San Diego, the Holland America Line (HAL) cruise ship, Zaandam, was sailing approximately 200 miles southwest of San Diego when a 71-year-old passenger began experiencing what is described as a serious internal medical condition. 

The HAL cruise ship was en route from Hawaii to Ensenada, Mexico. When the passenger became ill, the ship changed course to sail nearer to San Diego. 

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew took off from San Diego to meet the ship. A C-130 Hercules airplane crew from Sacramento provided support during the rescue.

The top video shows the helicopter crew hoisting the ailing passenger from the cruise ship.

The bottom video is taken from the C-130 aircraft. 

Helicopter Medevacs Sick Celebrity Crew Member from Solstice Cruise Ship

Celebrity Solstice Helicopter Pad - MedevacA newspaper in Australia is reporting that a Care Flight helicopter rescued a 22-year-old crew member off a cruise ship off the coast of Arnhem Land.

The helicopter flew to the Celebrity Solstice which was sailing 500 kilometers north east of Darwin, Australia. 

The Celebrity crew member reportedly suffered a "cardiac problem." A nurse and doctor accompanied the helicopter after notification from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The helicopter was expected to refuel at the remote town of Maningrida before flying  another 100 kilometers km out to sea to reach the cruise ship. Unlike many cruise ships, the Solstice has a helipad on the bow.

The newspaper reports that the Celebrity Solstice left Darwin yesterday on a two-day cruise to Cairns, in north Queensland.

 

Photo credit: Harrogate Flickr

Coast Guard Medevacs Cruise Passenger From Carnival Conquest

The U.S. Coast Guard saves the day again.

This time Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans medevacs a 46-year-old man from the Carnival Conquest cruise ship approximately 60 miles south of Southwest Pass, of Louisiana on February, 16, 2013. The cruise passenger was reportedly suffering from symptoms associated with a brain hemorrhage.

Click on the "Rescue" category to the left and you can watch a large number of medical evacuations performed by our U.S. Coast Guard of ill and injured cruise passengers and crew members each year. 

Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station New Orleans.

 

Royal Caribbean Passenger Medevaced From Radiance of the Seas

Radiance of the SeasA newspaper in Australia reports today that a passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship was airlifted to safety after falling and seriously injuring his head while the cruise ship was sailing off the coast of Australia.

The newspaper states that "paramedics aboard the Westpac rescue helicopter stabilised the 37-year-old after he took a tumble yesterday on the Radiance of the Seas luxury cruise vessel, which had been travelling north about 80km off Coffs Harbour."  Coffs Harbor is on the eastern coast of Australia.

The injured passengers was flown to Coffs Harbor Hospital in a serious but stable condition. 

Over the last year there have been more and more stories about successful medevacs of ill or injured passengers from cruise ships sailing off the coast of Australia.

 

Photo Credit: Radiance of the Seas -  theaustralian.com.au

Carnival Triumph Plagued By Prior Propulsion Problems

When the news broke that the Carnival Triumph's engines failed due to a fire while the cruise ship was 150 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico, passengers on prior cruises quickly began voicing their concerns about propulsion problems on prior cruises.

You can read the comments to our article on Sunday entitled Here We Go Again: Engine Room Fire Cripples Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship where Carnival passengers across the country stated that their cruises had been marred by missed ports and slow voyages due to propulsion issues.

Other websites, such as the popular Maritime Matters, posted numerous comments from concerned Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Firecruisers about prior engine problems on the Triumph.  

There were also a number news stations which aired stories about persistent problems about this Carnival cruise ship. KLTV aired a program Texans Angry Over Cruise Experience (video) where one Carnival passenger complained about the cruise line's decision to "put money ahead of safety."

The problem in cases like this is that the cruise lines operate their ships virtually 24 hours a days, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.  The ships have a tight itinerary, rushing from port to port, and then disembarking several thousand passengers and re-loading the ship to head out again. Down time for a few days for maintenance means many millions of dollars lost and lots of unhappy customers. So the ships (as well as the crew) are pushed to and sometimes past their limits.   

One of the readers of our Cruise Law News Facebook page made this insightful observation yesterday:

"Money Talks - It is sad to hear that the news is now surfacing that prior to this ill-fated cruise that there were issues on recent previous cruises, which will cause a lot of backlash against the company. If an enquiry is launched it could mean trouble for Carnival. I just want to mention that crew onboard are mostly tip driven and senior officers are incentivised on revenue, so the motivation to ensure the cruise happens is pretty high from a crew and officer point of view. If the ship could not leave port it would mean that not only does the company lose revenue, the crew would be put at a disadvantage financially as well."

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment.

Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard / Reuters

Cruise Ship Racing to Rescue Sailor in Southern Ocean

Newspapers in Australia are reporting that a cruise ship is on its way to rescue a round-the-world sailor whose sailboat was de-masted, forcing him to abandon ship into a life raft in remote waters southwest of Tasmania.

The Brisbane Times states that French yachtsman Alain Delord was attempting a sail around the world but became stranded at sea after his sailing yacht was damaged in rough seas. A cruise ship, Orion, diverted its course for Antarctica to assist in the rescue.

Alain Delord Tchouk Tchouk NoguatThe 63 year old sailor was skippering the 10.6 meter sailboat named the Tchouk Tchouk Noguat.  Delord is an experienced mariner, having reportedly completed 17 trans-Atlantic voyages. He has been at sea for several months.

He keeps a blog about his adventures and last noted that he was plotting a course through severe winds measuring 40 knots and 10 meter seas. He was wearing survival gear when he entered the life raft. 

The Orion cruise ship should be at the location of the distress beacon tonight. The emergency beacon was activated yesterday, 500 nautical miles southwest of Hobart.

A French sailing magazine Mon Voile interviewed Mr. Delord in October and discussed his preparations for the trip, the reinforcement of the mast and the steps to be taken in the event of a de-masting.

Let's hope and pray that this turns out well for the Frenchman. 

January 20 2013 Update: Success!  The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Mr. Delord is safely aboard the Orion. His first meal?  "French onion soup, proceeded by a nice fresh green salad and lamb shank with a nice glass of red."

 

Photo credit: Mon Voile Mag

Disney Dream Rescues Two Boaters in the Bahamas

Disney Dream Cruise Ship RescueA number of news stations in Florida are reporting on the rescue of two boaters by the crew of the Disney Dream cruise ship.

The incident happened on Wednesday as the cruise ship was sailing in Bahamian water at the end of the cruise 

WKMG 6 reports the Disney Dream responded to a distress signal and launched a lifeboat to bring two people stranded on a small pleasure craft on board. Disney officials said the two needed medical attention, food and water but are expected to be okay. 

The ship returned to Port Canaveral on yesterday morning with the two people on board.

The Orlando Sentinel also covered the story and stated that the two boaters were U.S. citizens. The stranded vessel was registered in Florida.

Passengers on the cruise ship took photographs of the rescue.  

Disney Dream Cruise Ship Rescue

Photo credit:

Top - Matt Crawford via WKMG 6

Bottom - Dan Tressler, II via Orlando Sentinel

Seven Seas Voyager Involved in Rescue of Sailors Aboard Sea Wanderer

Cruise passengers sailing aboard the Seven Seas Voyager experienced a thrill as their cruise ship assisted in the rescue of three sailors aboard a sailboat off the coast of New Zealand.

Sea Wanderer Ketch According to a newspaper in New Zealand, the cruise ship steamed to the rescue after a ketch called the Sea Wanderer reported engine failure and a loss of navigation systems Sunday evening, when the ketch was 30 kilometers off Marlborough's Clifford Bay.

Passengers described heavy swells and winds of 50 knots. The sailboat was "just completely out of control." 

About 30 to 45 minutes later, a helicopter from the Wellington Coast Guard arrived and eventually winched the men safety. The sailors were described as "cold, wet and tired, but otherwise alright." 

A cruise passenger wrote about the incident in a blog Adventures Down Under

Please contact us should you have any photos or video to share.

 

Photo credit: Fairfax NZ News

Emergency Medevac of Sick Passenger from Crown Princess?

Coast Guard Rescue Crown Princess Cruise ShipI am being told by a reliable source that the U.S. Coast Guard is about to conduct an emergency medevac of an ill passenger from the Crown Princess cruise ship which is heading to Galveston and will arrive tomorrow.

It is less than clear whether there is any connection to the norovirus outbreak on the cruise ship.  The cruise has been under red level disease alert throughout the crossing from Europe.

The ship is facing heavy swells and the helicopter is facing strong winds.

The last medevac from the Crown Princess was in March.  You can see the video here.

Does anyone have information to confirm this latest story?

December 21, 2012 Update:  There's an update to this story we reported this morning:

The incident involves a 68 year old woman who was suffering from internal bleeding and had to be medevaced by a Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter which flew 140 miles south of the Mississippi River's Southwest Pass to the Princess cruise ship. The Times Picaynue states that the cruise ship alerted the Coast Guard station in New Orleans about 2 AM this morning, reporting that the woman had received blood transfusions on the ship. At the time, the ship was about 200 miles offshore. 

 

Photo and video credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Princess Cruise Ship Rescues Jamaicans at Sea - Yeah Mon!

Ocho Rios Jamaica Cruise ShipThe Miami Herald tells us this evening that a Princess cruise ship heading to Ocho Rios rescued five Jamaican nationals who reportedly have been drifting on a small boat in the Caribbean for three weeks. 

The Island Princess cruise ship brought the five Jamaicans onto the ship and is now sailing to Jamaica with them.  The Princess cruise ship will be calling on Ocho Rios tomorrow.

The Herald says that Jamaicans "were on their way to a barbeque and ran out of gas."  A cruise passenger reportedly said that "We noticed the boat slowing down . . . we pulled up and the occupants were screaming: 'No food, no water.'" 

A happy ending on the high seas it seems.

Anyone on the ship willing to share photographs or video of the rescue?

December 21, 2012 Update:  Today we were provided with photographs of the rescued Jamaicans by cruise passenger Deanna Couch.  Thanks Deanna!

Princess Cruise Rescue Jamaicans Ocho Rios

 

20 Crew Members Injured During Cruise Ship Lifeboat Drill

A newspaper in Finland is reporting that twenty crew members received injuries during a lifeboat drill aboard the Findlandia cruise ship operated by Eckerö Line in Tallinn.

The newspaper states that crew members suffered broken bones and sprained ankles, as well as friction burns caused by trying to slow their descent during the steep drop into a life raft. 

Unlike most lifeboat systems in which the crew will board the lifeboat and then descend into the water, the system on the Findlandia involves a chute which drops straight down to the life rafts in the water. It does not look much different than chutes which construction crews use in dumping Eckero Line  Findlandia Lifeboat Drillconstruction debris from upper floors into a dumpster on the street below.

You can see the system in the photograph to the left. It looks very dangerous.

The drill was suspended only when the Eckerö crew members refused to follow their colleagues down the chute.

”The exercise should have been called off as soon as the injuries came,” said a representative of a Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi.

A representative of the Finnish Seamen’s Union stated that the evacuation system used is "unsuitable and dangerous," although it was approved in the European Union.

 

Photo credit: D. Stenbäck / Trafi

Hat tip for story: CruiseInd and Cruisejunkie 

Man Overboard From Cruise Ferry Nordlandia Rescued

ERR News reports that a man was rescued from frigid waters in Finland after being spotted falling from Eckerö Line's cruise ferry Nordlandia which sails between Helsinki and Tallinn.

Two witnesses observed a man fall into the Gulf of Finland. A sea rescue mission involving two ships and a rescue helicopter was launched. After 45 minutes, the helicopter located the man and delivered him on board. The man was resuscitated and transported to a local hospital.

Nordlandia Cruise Ferry

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Bin im Garten

88 Year Old Passenger Medevaced From Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Medevac - Voyager of the Seas Cruise ShipThere is a nice article in the West Australia newspaper about a elderly cruise passenger who had the misfortune of falling on a cruise ship.    

The article, entitled Love is in the Air Amid Rescue, explains that 88 year-old passenger Ms. Eileen Ewins was traveling with her husband, George Ewins, on Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas as the ship re-positioned to Australia for the next 6 months. She fell as she was exiting her cabin and broke her hip. The ship doctor determined that Ms. Ewins needed to be treated on an emergency basis ashore. 

The accident happened on day 12 of the 14 day cruise.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority contacted an offshore helicopter company, the Bristow Group, which sent a helicopter and team of five staff members to fly to cruise ship off of western Australia. 

The helicopter winched both 88 year-old Ms. Ewins as well as her 89 year old husband up and flew them to the Royal Perth Hospital.

"We do everything together," Mr. Perth told the newspaper. 

This is the fourth medevac of an ill passenger from a cruise ship in the last week, including another elderly passenger medevaced from a cruise ship off of the western coast of Australia.

Friends Bring Fellow Passenger Back to Life on Carnival Glory

This morning, the Free Lance newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia published a cruise story with a happy ending. Entitled "Friends’ Actions Aboard Ship Save Woman’s Life," the article is about cruise passenger Patty Bliss who joined 25 other women from the Sheriff’s Office and government offices in Stafford County for a weekend getaway two weeks ago on Carnival Glory’s “cruise to nowhere.” 

Shortly after boarding the cruise ship, the women were enjoying food and drinks on deck. Suddenly, Ms. Bliss slumped over in her chair.  

The women observed Ms. Bliss not breathing. She had no pulse. Her skin turned grayish–purple. She had suffered sudden cardiac arrest, causing her heart to stop pumping blood throughout her body.  “I thought she was gone,” said one pf the women, Sgt. Nancy Morin, who was also traveling with two Carnival Glory Cruise to Nowhere - Heart attackdaughters. Morin's oldest daughter was certain that Ms. Bliss was dead. She began crying.

But Sgt. Morin and Detective Christine Hammond sprang into action. They initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation with Morin compressing her heart and Hammond blowing into Bliss’ mouth. The newspaper writes:

Bliss’ heart didn’t start beating on its own. Other women in the group asked crew members for an automated external defibrillator, a device that sends an electric shock to people suffering from cardiac arrest . . . .

. . .  crew members weren’t responding, but instead “ran around in circles trying to figure out what to do.”

One of the women in the group then clapped her hands in the face of one crew members and told him to get the device “and get it now!”

By this point, Morin and Hammond reportedly had given CPR to Ms. Bliss for 15 to 20 minutes.

According to the newspaper, when the defibrillator arrived, a crew member shocked Bliss once, but the device indicated another shock was needed. When the crew member hesitated, one of the women pushed the button to shock Bliss again and again. 

Finally an ambulance took Ms. Bliss off of the cruise ship to a hospital where the doctors implanted a defibrillator in her chest.  

Ms. Bliss may have missed the "cruise to nowhere," but she was fortunate to fall ill in port around a group of women trained on how to save her life. 

Busy Weekend For Cruise Ship Medevacs: Coast Guard Rescues Sick Passenger From Carnival Inspiration

Carnival Inspiration Medevac - Coast Guard HelicopterThe U.S. Coast Guard issued a press release indicating that it medically evacuated a passenger from a cruise ship 50 miles southwest of Point Loma yesterday afternoon.

The Carnival Inspiration cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard yesterday shortly before noon requesting a medevac for a 26 year old man who was experiencing rapid heart rate and possible cardiac complications.

Coast Guard Sector San Diego dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew to fly to the cruise ship to perform the medevac.

The aircrew hoisted the man and the ship’s nurse to the helicopter and transported them to San Diego, where they transferred the ill man to emergency medical personnel.

This was the third medevac from a cruise ship this weekend.  Previously the Coast Guard rescued a pregnant passenger from the Disney Magic and flew her to a hospital in Galveston, Texas.  And an ill passenger was hoisted by a helicopter, operated by the Australian Navy, from the Sea Princess cruise ship and taken to a hospital in Australia.   

 

Photo / video credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Medevacs Pregnant Cruise Passenger From Disney Magic

News sources are reporting that the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a woman "experiencing pregnancy issues" on a Disney cruise ship approximately 180 miles from Galveston coast early today. 

A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced the 31 year old woman from the Disney Magic cruise ship and flew her to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The captain of the ship requested the medevac late yesterday Friday night.

Disney reportedly said passengers cannot sail on a ship if they are more than 24 weeks pregnant.

This is the second cruise passenger medevaced from a cruise ship today.  Earlier this morning a helicopter rescued a passenger from a Princess cruise ship off of the coast of Australia. 

The U.S. Coast Guard video of the Disney medevac is below:

Australian Navy Helicopter Rescues Sick Passenger From Sea Princess Cruise Ship

Sea Princess Cruise Ship RescueA newspaper in Australia reports that an Australian Navy helicopter airlifted a sick elderly passenger from a Princess cruise ship off the coast of Western Australia after a medical emergency today.

The elderly passenger was suffering from acute stomach pains.  In response, the Sea Princess cruise ship contacted the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba which was was training nearby the cruise ship as it sailed north of Cape Naturaliste.

The helicopter airlifted the passenger to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for treatment.

The Sea Princess continued its cruise and is due to arrive in Adelaide in five days.

Why Did Carnival Delay Rescuing An Overboard Passenger From The Destiny?

One of the first comments from the Carnival Destiny cruise ship about a passenger going overboard earlier this week was by another passenger who remarked on Twitter that it took well over a hour to complete the rescue. The tweet stated that the overboard passenger had to tread the water for one and one-half hours.

Another person left a comment to my article about the incident, stating:

"The woman's friends who knew she had fallen had a difficult time convincing the crew to stop the ship. They chose to search the ship first. Fortunately a passenger in an above deck had reported hearing a splash and that info convinced them to stop the ship and look in the water. She was not rescued for over an hour. She tried to swim after the ship until it disappeared and she was left in total blackness. . . ."

Coast Guard regulations and the requirements of most cruise ship safety management systems (SMS) Carnival Destiny Cruise Ship Rescue required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) state that the vessel must immediately take steps to rescue a person who goes overboard.

Vessel operators must also notify the Coast Guard and other vessels in the vicinity if the overboard person is not "immediately" located in the water. Once a man overboard is reported, most SMS cruise line policies require a prompt reduction of speed of the ship, a "Williamson Turn" to head the ship back to the location of the overboard person, the deployment of extra look-outs, the use of spotlights, and preparation to deploy life craft. While this is happening the captain can order a muster and head count if there is any doubt about whether a passenger went overboard. 

Why didn't this occur in this case?  If the comments by other passengers are true that the cruise ship did not promptly turn around and the overboard passenger was forced to tread water for over an hour, this is in violation of Coast Guard regulations and basic maritime rescue procedures.

Last month, a similar incident occurred on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Allure of the Seas. A young woman went overboard and reportedly struck the arm of a passenger standing on a lower balcony. The passenger reported the incident immediately but the cruise ship sailed on and did not report it for over two hours.  The cruise line initially falsely stated that it immediately initiated a search and notified the U.S. Coast Guard. When confronted with the fact that it actually delayed for over two hours, Royal Caribbean said that it decided to search the ship first so as to avoid unnecessarily causing the Coast Guard to deploy search aircraft and rescue vessels.  

Unlike the Carnival case where the passenger was eventually rescued and taken to a hospital ashore (photo above), in the Royal Caribbean case the passenger was never found and her body was never recovered.

There were many comments after the fiasco aboard the Allure of the Seas that no one can survive a fall of 100 feet from a cruise ship, but the Carnival Destiny incident shows otherwise. In both cases, there were criticisms by other passengers that they were inconvenienced by the delay and/or they missed the next port because of the overboard. Cruise lines have to then deal with whining customers and unhappy people demanding credits and discounts.  

Are cruise ships under so much pressure to keep their itineraries that they are ignoring basic search and rescue protocols? 

Yes, everyone should be happy that the Destiny passenger survived. But the issue needs to be explored to understand why the ship delayed in searching in the water rather than wasting time looking around the ship.The next overboard will not be so lucky. 

The notion advanced by Royal Caribbean's PR people that cruise lines can delay a rescue for a couple of hours is preposterous. It's exactly the opposite of what the applicable maritime rules and regulations require.  After all, the Allure of the Seas is touted as the largest cruise ship in the world. In an emergency, no one has the luxury of searching an entire floating city before initiating a search and calling the Coast Guard for help.

A person struggling in the water at night does not have time to wait a hour or two for help.    

 

Photo credit: Jetaria Taylor

Coast Guard Medevacs Cruise Passenger From Carnival Glory

A Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a sick cruise ship passenger suffering from chest pains from the Carnival Glory, which left Norfolk yesterday. According to WAVY, the 52 year old woman, her husband and a nurse were hoisted off the ship and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. 

 

New CLIA Lifeboat Training Policy Insufficient to Prepare for the Next Cruise Disaster

The cruise industry trade organization, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), announced with great fanfare a new lifeboat training policy. This is a result of what CLIA is calling the cruise industry's "operational safety review" after the Costa Concordia disaster. 

Every six months, the CLIA cruise ships will conduct lifeboat drills.  The lifeboats will be lowered into the water either empty or with only a skeleton crew (probably one or two crew members) necessary to operate the life boat. 

The lifeboat itself will otherwise be empty. As USA TODAY explains:

Muster Station  - Lifeboat Chaos"The training will involve lowering a lifeboat into the water, filling it to capacity with crew members and then maneuvering it in the water to familiarize the crew to lifeboat operations. The crew will not practice lowering a fully loaded lifeboat."

The new policy is suppose ensure the public that the crew knows how to safely lower the lifeboats. But let's be clear what this "new" policy is and is not about.  

It is only after the lifeboat is lowered will it then be filled up with crew members (this is actually the same IMO policy which has existed for the past 4 years).  The lifeboat operator will then practice driving the loaded boat around for a while.  The crew will eventually get out.  Then the lifeboat will be raised back to the cruise ship empty.  

This means that there will be no training whatsoever in loading and then lowering a fully loaded lifeboat safely into the water. So when the next disaster strikes, that means that there is a 100% certainty that whoever is lowering your life boat has never practiced it while it is loaded.

It is hard to understand why the emphasis in the "new policy" is practicing driving the lifeboats around. Watch the Royal Caribbean video below of life boats from the Serenade of the Seas driving around and around. The video has wonderful music.  Its a beautiful day in Pointe Seraphine, Castries, St. Lucia.  The water is completely calm. What fun!

You will never see a real emergency in pleasant conditions like this. The last person overboard from the Serenade of the Seas occurred last week (largely ignored by the U.S. press and Royal Caribbean is staying mum).  A crew member went overboard in the Adriatic early in the morning in high seas with winds gusting up to 100 kilometers. The ship didn't even try and lower a lifeboat in those conditions. 

The problem with the Costa Concordia disaster was that the captain delayed ordering the passengers off the ship until the cruise ship listed to an angle where it was impossible to lower the lifeboat. There was chaos trying to round up and organize over 3,000 passenger into their designated muster stations, especially because there was no muster drill in the first place.

The "new" CLIA lifeboat drills don't mention crowd control issues, language issues or anything that might reasonably address the deadly confusion which took place on the Concordia.

There are no recommendations for simulation drills or intense training, while encountering a wide variety of emergencies and diverse simulated weather conditions.

Think if a cruise ship as large as the Oasis or Allure of the Seas needs to be evacuated, The Oasis has 18 lifeboats which can carry 370 passengers in each one. Getting that many people into the lifeboat in a timely manner and then lowering the boat safely into the water takes practice - something the "new" CLIA policy guarantees won't ever happen.

The truth of the matter is that some cruise lines have essentially discontinued lifeboats drills (actually lowering the lifeboats) because of the numerous injuries and some deaths during the drills. 10 years ago Royal Caribbean experienced a disastrous accident where numerous crew members sustained serious injuries.

There is a saying that most lifeboats injure or kill more passengers and crew than save lives.  Lifeboats can fall suddenly, get caught on the side of the ship or suffer malfunctions or failure of the cables and hardware.  Consider the incident in the video at the bottom which, although not involving a cruise ship, is similar to others incidents where cruse employees were injured.

    

 

 

 

 Photo Credit:  EPA via Telegraph 

Allure of the Seas Overboard: Royal Caribbean Struggling to Justify Late Notification to Coast Guard

With the Coast Guard ending its delayed search and the 21 year old woman still missing at sea, Royal Caribbean is struggling to justify the two hour delay it caused in reporting the latest person overboard from the Allure of the Seas.  Its excuse is a whopper - it claims that it first had to first search the ship to make certain that the passenger was still not onboard. 

This statement is coming from a cruise line PR executive Cynthia Martinez, who is obviously unfamiliar with well established maritime rules and even her company's own man overboard protocols.  According to International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommendations and Coast Guard regulations, cruise ships are required to notify the Coast Guard if the person overboard is not "immediately" observed in the water.  

Royal Caribbean knows better than to act like this. It has some highly experienced mariners and former Coast Guard commanders working for it, like former Coast Guard Commander Captain Howard Newhoff Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seaswho was awarded a medal of commendation by President Reagan in the 1980's and whose skills and service to this country are beyond reproach. He must be shaking his head in disgust after reading the PR statements dreamed up by the cruise line's PR team members who don't know the difference between port and starboard. 

Royal Caribbean said that the Coast Guard was notified when the cruise ship found “the incident on the recording . . . from the video, we could pinpoint the exact time and location using Global Positioning System and provided that information to the Coast Guard.”

Nonsense. The Coast regulations require immediate notification. The GPS coordinates should have been sent to the Coast Guard immediately. Searching the largest cruise ship in the world and pouring over CCTV images from hundreds of cameras first?  A person can float for tens of miles over the course of the unnecessary two hour delay.

Maritime experts on Ring of Fire Radio voiced their displeasure about the delay from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m., over 2 hours after the passenger fell overboard. Gerald McGill, a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a former Commanding Officer of two Coast Guard cutters, states:

"The most troubling aspect of this tragedy is why the ship waited two hours before notifying the Coast Guard. Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said the process of making sure a passenger is not onboard takes some time. She said such verification is necessary before the Coast Guard is notified 'and they commit to sending assets to help search.'

However, in this case a witness reported seeing another passenger go overboard and video footage verified this. The important fact was that “someone” had fallen overboard. Determining who had fallen overboard should not have delayed notifying the Coast Guard. Hopefully the FBI investigation will address this issue."

Delayed notification causes the Coast Guard to expend additional resources and expands the search grid of the Coast Guard cutters, helicopters and aircraft. The expenses increase substantially. And most importantly the chances of the person being rescued - which is why immediate notification to the Coast Guard is required in the first place - decrease dramatically.

 

Check out our facebook page to see what people are saying about how Royal Caribbean handled the situation. 

Coast Guard Medevacs Carnival Paradise Cruise Passenger

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that it medevaced a 50 year old passenger from the Carnival cruise ship Paradise approximately 30 miles west of Venice, Florida last night.

The Coast Guard station in St. Petersburg Florida received a request at 10:30 p.m., from the Carnival Paradise for a medical evacuation of a man who was suffering from a suspected cardiac attack. Crew members aboard the cruise ship were able to resuscitate the passenger and return him to stable condition but wanted him to be taken to the hospital.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., launched to the scene.  Once on scene at 11:42 p.m., the helicopter crew was able to safely hoist the man, his wife and a nurse and transport them to Bradenton Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida.

 

Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship

 

Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Beau Hudspeth - Digi-Gen Design Studios - Photography

Master & Commander, or Not? U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Actor Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe is one of my favorite actors.  He was fantastic in the movie "Master & Commander" where he played the brave, swashbuckling British Captain Jack Aubrey set during the Napoleonic Wars over 200 years ago.

He brilliantly commanded the H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, in all types of hellish weather in an effort to capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron which was sailing in the Atlantic Ocean off South America. 

So it came as somewhat of a surprise today when I read a press release by the U.S. Coast Guard that Russell Crowe - Master and Commandera Coast Guard boat crew rescued actor Crowe and one of his friends, near Huntington Bay, Long Island, N.Y., last night. 

It seems that the 48 year old actor and his buddy had lost their way kayaking off of Long Island. They decided to beach their kayaks in Huntington Bay after nightfall when sea conditions worsened. Fortunately, a Coast Guard crew was on patrol in Huntington Bay.

Crowe and his friend flagged the Coast Guard boat down and they and their kayaks were rescued and taken to Huntington Harbor.

The Coast Guard said that Crowe was wearing a lifejacket and acted prudently to request assistance when it got dark and conditions worsened on the water.

One of the Coast Guard crew members said it "was very cool to help Russell Crowe and his friend.”

Yesterday I wrote an article about the extraordinary services provided by the U.S. Coast Guard by flying hundreds of miles out to sea to hoist ill passengers from cruise ships.

But rescuing a brave British master and commander in a kayak?  That takes the cake!  

Coast Guard Medevacs Crew Member From Cruise Ship, 290 Miles at Sea!

Just another day (or night) for the Coast Guard.

When a crew member from the Celebrity Summit cruise ship began experiencing severe abdominal cramping,  a Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City, North Carolina launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter as well as a HC-130 Hercules aircraft to assist in the medevac. The helicopter had to lower one of its crew members, pick up a nurse from the cruise ship and then hoist the sick cruise employee to fly him to a hospital in Norfolk Virginia.  All of this happened at night, 290 miles out at sea. 

I didn't know that helicopters could fly that far and back.

 

 

Video credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Busy Making Long Distance Medevacs of Ill Cruise Ship Patients

The U.S. Coast Guard has been busy rescuing ill people from cruise ships in the past few days.  Last week Coast Guard helicopters flew over 1,000 miles round trip to save lives.  

Last week started off with the Coast Guard medevacing a 40 year old male crew member from a Celebrity cruise ship approximately 290 miles off the eastern coast of the U.S.  That's a long way to go to rescue a sick person and then return!

The Celebrity Summit notified the Coast Guard, via VHF channel 16, that  one of its crew members was suffering from abdominal pain and was in need of medical attention.  The Coast Guard 5th District Coast Guard Medevac Jayhawk Helicopterduty flight surgeon consulted with the medical officer aboard the cruise ship and recommended a medevac.

Rescue air crews from Elizabeth City, North Carolina launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules aircraft.  With the Hercules crew providing radio and air cover, the Jayhawk hoisted the man and a ship's nurse aboard the helicopter and took them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Later in the week, A 72 year old female passenger was medevaced by a Coast Guard helicopter from the Carnival cruise ship Elation approximately 250 miles south of Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The passenger reportedly experienced kidney problems.

The Eighth Coast Guard District command center in New Orleans received a maritime satellite call from the Carnival Elation and launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.  The aircrew transported the sick passenger to Mobile, Alabama where she was treated at Providence Hospital. 

Who pays for these extraordinary services?  Me and you (if your a taxing paying U.S. citizen)  None of the cruise lines pay U.S. taxes on their $35,000,000,000 (billion) in revenue, so the expense of the Coast Guard to rescue people from the foreign flagged cruise ships is borne by all us in the U.S.   

Did Princess Cruises Fail to Rescue a Second Fishing Boat?

Princess Cruises released a press release today claiming that the fishing boat observed and photographed by several passengers on the Star Princess cruise ship is not the Fifty Cents fishing boat which contained three young men from Panama. 

You will recall that two young Panamanian fisherman died after a cruise ship failed to stop and provide d assistance to them as they floundered in a disabled boat 100 miles at sea. One man, Adrian Vasquez, age 18, survived after floating in the derelict boat for a month.  When rescued, Vasquez identified a large white cruise ship as the vessel which refused to stop.

The story became more interesting when it was revealed that several passengers (bird watchers) on the Star Princess with high powered Star Princess Cruise Shiplens observed people on a fishing boat waving in distress. They alerted the cruise ship's officers but the ship refused to stop.  

You can read our coverage of this saga here.

This case has ended up in court with lawsuits filed by the survivor and the wives and children of the two dead men. Princess Cruises has argued that it has no legal duty to rescue mariners in distress.

Today Princess Cruises issued a press release arguing that it has "new evidence (which) proves Princess Cruises did not fail to rescue adrift fishermen as alleged."  The evidence the cruise line points to is not new at all. They are referring to computer generated images created for the cruise line at the request of lawyers to be used to defend the cruise line's legal interests.  Princess Cruises hired an "expert" to offer an opinion that there are differences between the fishing boat photographed by the cruise passengers and the computer images of the boat based on snippets of video of the boat on which survivor Vasquez was eventually rescued.  You can see the comparison of the actual photo and the computer created images below.

I'm not convinced at all. The "two" vessels are similar in size.  Both have white hulls.  And Fifty Cents Fishing Boat - Princess Cruisesboth have blue trim, although the size of the trim looks different.  But that may be due to the blurry and distorted images which were taken from a long distance. I'm sure that the lawyers for the families of the dead men will retain their own experts to analyze the photo and the computer images to see if they have been altered or enhanced and arrive at their own experts opinions about the matter.

One thing I observed in the video of the Fifty Cents which Princess posted is that it shows a blue awning / tarp at Vasquez's feet, after he was rescued. The photos taken of the fishing boat in distress by the bird watchers clearly show a blue tarp.  

Two different white hull fishing boats of the same size, both with blue trim, and both with blue tarps?  

But if Princess' paid experts are right that the boat which the bird watchers observed and photographed was not the Fifty Cents, that hardly exculpates Princess. Remember there is no question that the fishing boat that the cruise passengers observed was in distress and its occupants were waving for help far out at sea and, yet, the Princess cruise ship kept on sailing.  If Princess, the bird watchers and Vasquez are all right, this would logically and reasonably point to a conclusion that Princess Cruises failed to rescue Fifty Cents and a second fishing boat in distress as well.

Princess' press release states that Princess Cruises "has demanded the lawsuits be immediately dismissed . . . "   But it has filed no motion before the court and submitted no evidence into the record.  It has not offered to produce its experts for deposition and cross examination.

It looks like Princess wants to fight this lawsuit in the press.  Here's part of the Princess press release:

 

Princess Cruises - Fifty Cents Fishing Boat - Star Princess Cruise Ship

 

Robert Peltz of Leesfield & Partners, which represents the family of Fernando Osorio, one of the young men who perished, has issued the following statement:

“This latest move by Princess is the ultimate ‘Hail Mary’ – a hopeless pass and last ditch effort to avoid liability on a legitimate claim. The facts are simple and straight forward. The picture taken by passenger Jeff Gilligen shows the Fifty Cents boat and its passengers Adrian Vasquez, Fernando Osorio and Elvis Diaz desperately reaching out to the Princess cruise ship for rescue. We have solid evidence that confirms that the picture shows the Fifty Cents. Instead of taking responsibility for their actions, Princess seems intent on paying so-called ‘experts’ to give them a way out through comparison of grainy, out-of-focus pictures and ‘computer stitched images’. A jury will decide this case and provide the accountability that Princess is clearly incapable of doing on its own.”
 

 

Photo credit: Top - Wikipedia / Yankeeman 312;  Bottom - Princess Cruises

 

Prayers Answered: A Miracle Rescue At Sea

One of the things we talk about is disappearances at sea. With few exceptions, the stories of passengers and crew who find themselves in the water don't end well.  Here's an exception.

Kim Thomsen and his fellow fishing mates found themselves in the dark waters off of western Australia 260 kilometers north of Perth after their fishing boat sank.

Thomsen became separated from his friends and drifted for 20 hours.  Alone, naked, exhausted and circled by a hammerhead shark, he prayed for a miracle.

A Coast Guard rescue plane and vessel appeared, and a news helicopter chased the shark off.

One man did not survive and the other remains lost.

Thomsen is counting his blessings. 

 

 

Hat tip to gCaptain.     

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Ill Cruise Passenger From Carnival Glory

The U.S. Coast Guard website reports that it medically evacuated a 41-year-old woman from the Carnival Glory cruise ship today.  The passenger reportedly exhibited stroke-like symptoms.

The cruise ship was approximately 55 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts at the time of the emergency.

Coast Guard Sector Boston received the word from the Carnival cruise ship at approximately 3:35 p.m. In response, Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to the scene. Carnival Glory Cruise Ship Coast Guard MedevacThe helicopter hoisted the ill woman up to safety and then transported her to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I.

The Coast Guard website quotes a John Tomaszewski , a search and rescue coordinator at Sector Boston, "our crews launched swiftly . . . they were able to hoist her and get her the care she needed.

The Coast Guard did not comment on the passenger's medical condition.  

The last medevac from the Carnival Glory occurred, according to our records, in May 2010 when the Coast Guard in Miami rescued that a 36 year-old pregnant woman who needed emergency medical treatment.  

Read about other Coast Guard rescues here

Coast Guard medevacs like this are always the highlight of Cruise Law News.  The Coast Guard just celebrated its 222nd birthday! 

Anyone with photos, video or information about this latest Coast Guard rescue, please leave a comment. 

 

Photo: Space Coast Blogger

Passenger Falls Overboard From Silja Symphony Cruise Ship

A newspaper in Sweden reports that a man, described to be in his thirties, fell off of a cruise ship in the early morning hours yesterday.  The unidentified Swedish passenger fell into the water at around 4.30 am on Tuesday from the Silja Symphony cruise ship.  The vessel was sailing around 30 kilometres south of Örö in the Finnish archipelago.

A Finnish sea rescue crew was dispatched to search for the man along with several other cruise ships.

After a 90 minute search, a helicopter spotted the overboard passenger and lifted him to safety.

The man was taken to hospital in Turku and is reported to have suffered no serious injury.

"He had a slight injury in his leg and was cold, but he was in pretty good shape," said Samu Hiljanen of the Finnish Lifeboat Society.

According to Hiljanen the water temperature at the location of the accident was around 15-20 degrees Celsius.

The newspaper does not explain or speculate why the passenger fell overboard.

Over 180 people have gone overboard from cruise ships since 2000, according to Canadian Professor Ross Klein.

 

Silja Symphony Cruise Ship

 

Photo credit:  Wikimedia via The Local

Canadian Air Force Rescue of Stricken Sailboat Assisted By Star Princess Cruise Ship - This Time Princess Cruises Doesn't Abandon Mariners in Distress

The Vancouver Province contains a dramatic story involving the Canadian Air Force's rescue of two British Columbia sailors whose storm battered sailboat was pitching wildly in 80 km/h winds and high waves near the Queen Charlotte Islands.

The Canadian Air Force deployed a helicopter to try and winch the two men off the deck of the Magnolia sailboat but the torn rigging and swaying mast posed a hazard. A photo of the sailboat, illuminated by a helicopter spotlight, is to the right.  

Meanwhile, the Star Princess cruise ship was nearby heading to Alaska.

Everyone remembers the Star Princess. The notorious cruise ship recently made the headline when it sailed by three Magnolia Sailboat RescuePanamanian men in the little fishing boat, 50 Cents, leaving two men to perish at sea, while three cruise passengers pleaded for the cruise ship to stop and assist the disabled fishing boat. We wrote about the dreadful incident - Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?

This time the Star Princess didn't look the other way.

As explained in the Vancouver Province, the giant ship tried to break the wind and calm the waves. But instead the cruise ship's presence added to the danger because the wind and current would move the cruise ship in unexpected directions. "It drifted much too fast towards us," said a Canadian Air Force rescuer who was in the water at the scene.

The helicopter diver had to drop into the water twice and then swim over to the bobbing sailboat to rescue the men.

The helicopter eventually lifted the two sailors to safety, and the Star Princess headed on to Alaska.  

If you were on the Star Princess and have photos, video or comments about the rescue to share, please let us hear from you.

 

Consider reading:

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

 

Photo: Canadian Air Force (Sgt Robin Richardson, 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron)

U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Injured Passenger From Carnival Fantasy

Carnival Fantasy Cruise Ship - Injury - Coast Guard MedevacA newspaper in Savannah reports that yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a 63 year old woman from a cruise ship sailing in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 60 miles east of Savannah to a local hospital in Savannah. 

Coast Guard Sector Charleston received notification at about around 10:08 p.m. Saturday night from crew members aboard the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16. The cruise ship reported that  that the woman had fallen down some stairs, suffered a laceration on her head, and was in need of medical attention that could not be provided on the ship.

The newspaper states that at approximately 11:14 p.m., the Coast Guard launched an MH-65 Dolphin air rescue crew which arrived on at the cruise ship around 11:40 p.m. The helicopter hoisted the injured woman and a cruise ship nurse from the deck of the cruise ship and transported them to the hospital. 

The newspaper does not mention where the cruise passenger was from.

There have been a number of Coast Guard medevacs from the Carnival Fantasy recently.  On April 24, 2012, the Coast Guard medevaced a 56 year old man from the Fantasy when it was 60 miles southeast of Jacksonville, Florida. A week later, the Coast Guard rescued a 57 year old man from the same ship while it was sailing 160 miles southwest of Marco Island.

 

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

Twitter Insight: Oasis of the Seas Encounters Refugees on the High Seas

This evening my twitter feed came alive with a number of fascinating tweets by passengers sailing aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas as it sailed between Florida and Cuba.

The passengers, Jason Cochran, whose Twitter name is @Bastable and has a cool website, and "Nomadic Matt" (I could not figure out his real name) who Twitter name is @nomadicmatt and who has a neat travel website, tweeted about their cruise ship sailing across something strange - 18 refugees in a raft.

Actually encountering rafters on the high seas is not particularly strange at all.

I have blogged a lot about cruise ships "rescuing" Cuban refugees. (Just click on the "Rescue" Oasis of the Seas - Bastable - Cuban Refugeescategory to the left to read a couple of articles.) For some strange reason, Royal Caribbean cruise ships are most likely to sail upon rafters trying to escape the oppressive regime in Cuba. Why Royal Caribbean?  I have no idea.  Most of the clueless cruisers think that the rafters are "saved" and about to be invited into the U.S. 

The problem is that the Cubans are never "rescued." The cruise line usually takes them on the ship, calls the U.S. Coast Guard who sails out to the scene, and the Coast Guard processes the refugees and sails them back to Cuba where they end up in Castro's jails.

But today was different.  The tweeters explained that the crew of the Oasis brought food and water to the refugees, but the refugees didn't want to be "rescued."  They knew the U.S. Coast Guard would arrive and they wanted to leave.

There are some people who understand this perfectly well - ‏@shaneyhudson - a travel writer from Australia, tweeted "Coast guard would rather them drown than let them touch US shore. Will tow them back." He's right. Its rare to hear someone more bitter than me about these type of things.  

Bastable tweeted: "The Oasis‬ is now leaving the raft behind, slowly turning east. No Coast Guard cutter yet. Goodbye. We hope things turn out for you."   

I agree Bastable,  A tragic tale, indeed.    

Let's hope the winds and currents and the grace of God bring the refugees ashore tonight and they plant their feet on U.S. soil and can begin free lives here in America.

 

Photo credit:  Bastable

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Intercepts Cuban Rafters (Again, Again & Again)

WSVN News 7 in Miami reports tonight that Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas cruise ship sent a lifeboat to pick up five Cuban refugees who were floating in a raft after escaping Cuba. 

A cruise passenger sent Channel 7 a video of the "rescue" operation.  A cruise passenger was quoted saying  "I was kinda hoping that if they were brave enough to make it out to see from Cuba that they'd have a chance to stay here but who knows?"

I have a love / hate feeling about these situations.

Yes, its great that the cruise lines "rescued" Cubans on the high seas in rafts.  No one wants to see another situation where a Princess cruise ship callously sailed by three Panamanian young men in a disabled little fishing boat 100 miles out to sea, causing two men to die.

But on the other hand, there is no question that the Cubans will be sent back to Cuba, where they will meet whatever fate Castro's regime decides to impose.

I have written a dozen articles like this.  It seems like Royal Caribbean cruise ships for some odd reason are usually involved. Take a look here, hereherehere and here. The Allure and its sister ship, Oasis, have had multiple "rescues."

But there is no "rescue."  It is in essence an interception.  Current U.S. immigration policy is that if Cubans make it ashore they get to stay here. Good for them I say.  But if they are caught on the high seas, they go back to Cuba. Period. 

These brave Cubans will not die at sea, but they may now die in a Cuban jail for seeking freedom.  

    

Princess Cruises Shows Its True Colors: "We Have No Duty To Rescue Mariners in Distress at Sea"

In a court filing yesterday, Princess Cruises moved to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the 18 year old survivor, Adrian Vasquez, following the infamous "sail by" incident. You will recall that the Star Princess cruise ship failed to assist Vasquez and two other young Panamanian men (who perished) in a small disabled fishing boat drifting 100 miles out at sea.

In a motion to dismiss filed in Federal District Court on Miami, Princess argues that it has no legal duty to assist mariners in distress on the high seas.  It cites the Brussels Convention (also known as the "Salvage Treaty") for the proposition that although the captain of a ship has the duty to provide assistance to disabled vessels at sea, the cruise line itself has no legal obligation whatsoever.  It argues that it cannot be held liable for the captain's refusal to assist mariners in distress.

Star Princess - Fifty Cents - Adrian VasquezThis argument defies common sense and basic legal concepts.  The captain was an employee of Princess Cruises.  Why shouldn't the cruise be vicariously liable when its captain and crew act irresponsibly? 

The cruise line's legal argument is also at odds with PR statements it made after it can under international public condemnation for refusing to divert the Star Princess to assist the three men, ages 16, 18 and 22, who were adrift at sea after their boat lost its engine power. Princess released a very public statement on April 19, 2012 stating:

"Princess Cruises is dedicated to the highest standards of seamanship wherever our ships sail, and it is our duty to assist any vessel in distress. We have come to the aid of many people at sea, and we will continue to do so."

But in its motion to dismiss filed yesterday, Princess is now singing a different tune:

"Simply put, the law does not impose a duty on ships to investigate whether every passing vessel may need assistance nor does it impose civil liability on the owner of a vessel if the ship's crew fails to recognize that another vessel passing miles away needs help."   

Ah, a cruise line telling the public one thing but instructing its lawyers to say just the opposite behind the doors of the courthouse.  A cruise line best known for "The Love Boat" showing very little love at all.

Princess Cruises' argument, if accepted by the court, will establish a dangerous precedent.  

Captains of 99% of foreign flagged cruise ships live outside of the U.S. The captain of the Star Princess cruise ship resides in England and is probably not subject to jurisdiction in the U.S. or Panama (where the families of the men reside). Captains of cruise ships are under pressure from cruise lines to strictly maintain schedules for economic reasons.  If cruise lines like Princess can escape civil and criminal consequences when their ships abandon people at sea, there will be no incentive for the cruise industry to act responsibly.

Princess has the ability to easily compensate the families for their suffering.  It is just one of many cruise lines under the umbrella of Carnival, which collects tens and tens of billions of dollars from tax paying U.S. citizens but pays virtually no U.S. corporate taxes itself.  

Princess should not use the U.S. legal system to abandon the families of these three young men after abandoning their children to die an excruciating death at sea.  

Should a cruise line be permitted to tell the U.S. public that "it is our duty to assist any vessel in distress  . . .  and we will continue to do so," and then try to kick a young man's case out of court by arguing it had no legal duty to assist him when he was dying 100 miles out at sea?

 

Read our prior articles about the case: 

Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

 

Photo credit:  AP / Daily Mail

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Princess Cruises For Failing to Rescue Mariners in Distress

As expected, Princess Cruises was named as a defendant in a second lawsuit filed in Miami arising out of the high profile case where the Star Princess cruise ship sailed by a small fishing boat called Fifty Cents with three young men aboard 100 miles out at sea, leaving two of the men to die.

Three passengers observed the small vessel with the men waiving in distress and alerted the cruise ship's crew.  Princess initially claimed that the cruise ship communicated with the men aboard the fishing boat who allegedly thanked them for avoiding their nets - a story that was publicly ridiculed. Princess then changed course and claimed that the passengers' account of seeing the stricken fishing Fifty Cents Fishing Boat - Sail By - Princess Cruisesboat was never communicated to the bridge. 

This lawsuit against Princess Cruises was filed on behalf of the family of 16 year old Fernando Osorio Rodriguez, the youngest to die.   He reportedly died later at night on the same day that the Princess cruise ship sailed by.  He left behind his mother, father and four siblings.

The first lawsuit was filed on behalf of 18 year old Adrian Vazquez, who survived after suffering at sea for a month.  he was finally rescued some 600 miles from the fishing village where the men sailed from. 

The Miami Herald, which usually avoids stories which put the cruise lines in a bad light quoted Rodriquez's lawyer, Ira Leesfield, stating "It’s always been the moral and legal obligation of larger, well-equipped vessels to help people out . . . I don’t think you can put the expediency and the convenience and the economics of the ship that could rescue and save people’s lives before the value of people’s lives, and I think that’s what happened here. It’s really inexcusable.” 

We were the first to report on the case in the U.S. in our articles:

Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

Survivor of Infamous Star Princess "Sail By" Sues Princess Cruises

Lawsuit By Panamanian Survivor Against Princess Cruises Hits The National Press

The U.S. national media has now focused on a lawsuit arising out of the notorious "sail by" where a Princess cruise ship sailed by three desperate Panamanian men lost at sea in a disabled little fishing boat.  Two young men from Panama, age 16 and 24 died.  One man, Adrian Vasquez, age 18, survived but had to endure the horror of watching his friends suffer and die at sea.

We first reported on the lawsuit in Survivor of Infamous Star Princess "Sail By" Sues Princess Cruises.

Now all of the major newspapers and media sources are on to the story.  The article Panama Fisherman Sues Cruise Line For Not Helping is on the first page of Yahoo News.  

Adrian Vasquez - Fishermen - Princess Cruises - PanamaThe facts of this case are particularly outrageous and could not come at a worst time for the cruise industry. First, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship alters course to impress the residents of Giglio (not to mention his girlfriend) and wrecks the cruise ship and kills 32 people.  Now, the captain of the Star Princess refuses to alter course and kills two men in the process.  

It is always interesting to scan through the comments to news articles to get a feeling how the public reacts to stories like this about the cruise lines. The comments about Princess Cruises and the cruise industry today are brutal. Here are examples from the Yahoo article:

"Maritime law and morality was abandoned. A place in hell is reserved for anyone involved in abandoning those in need of rescue at sea . . . "

"I don't trust Cruise Lines period, I'm glad this man is suing the cruise-liner, restitution for the victims families."

"I hope the goal is not to settle but to seek punishment for this criminal act."

"It's called manslaughter. The captain should be charged. He knows the maritime law. - and he's just as bad as that Italian captain who was the 1st one off the sinking ship."

"I hope he wins the case, although Princess will probably try to crush him with lawyers and legal stall tactics."

This is a case which Cruise Law News will be watching closely.  Cruises lines like Princess will not try and reach a reasonable settlement with the young Panamanian man.  Princess Cruises' first step will be to try and dismiss the case from Florida and prevent the case from reaching a jury.

Stay tuned.

 

Read our other articles on this story:

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners In Distress?

 

Art Credit: Hung, Drawn and Cultured

Survivor of Infamous Star Princess "Sail By" Sues Princess Cruises

The lone survivor of the infamous "sail by" incident, where the Star Princess cruise ship failed to respond to the disabled Panamanian fishing boat Fifty Cents, filed suit yesterday against Princess Cruises.

We were the first in the U.S. to write about this terrible incident in our article last month: "Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?" 

You will recall that the case involves the plight of Adrian Vasquez, age 18, and the suffering and death of two of his friends, Oropeces Betancourt and Fernando Osorio.  The three sailed from the small fishing village of Rio Hato in Panama on February 24, 2012.   The boat lost power and drifted 100 miles out to sea. The small boat had been adrift for over two weeks when the large Princess Cruises Star Princess sailed within sight. Notwithstanding the frantic efforts of the men to signal that they were in distress, and the efforts of three cruise passengers who witnessed the spectacle, the cruise ship kept sailing.

Adrian Vasquez - Fifty Cents - Star Princess - Cruise Sail ByThe lawsuit alleges that Princess Cruises acted negligently (count I) and / or recklessly and intentionally (count II) in failing to aid the three mariners in distress.  The lawsuit alleges that Mr. Osorio (age 16), "having lost all hope as the Star Princess sailed away," died later that day.  Mr. Betancourt (age 24) suffered for another 5 days and then perished.  Survivor Vasquez was rescued around two weeks after the Princess cruise ship sailed out of sight.

The lawsuit claims that even after the initial sighting of the derelict vessel by the three passengers (confirmed by a crewmember), the passengers confronted an officer on the ship and asked what happened to the small fishing boat.  The Princess officer provided no explanation and walked away.

The lawsuit alleges that Princess Cruises admitted in a press release that it was its responsibility pursuant to the "Law of the Sea" to provide assistance to any vessel in distress.

We explained this legal obligation in our blog "Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas."

Bermuda (where the cruise ship is flagged) and Panama (all three men were from Panama) have stated that they are investigating the incident

The lawsuit was filed here in Miami, in the Miami-Dade courthouse. 

The lawsuit was filed by local Miami lawyers Dickman, Epelbaum & Dickman.

Princess Cruises, although incorporated in Bermuda to escape U.S. taxes and wage & labor laws, is headquartered in Santa Clarita, California with a significant base of operations in South Florida.

 

Photo credit:  AP / Daily Mail

Duty of Cruise Lines to Assist Persons In Distress: Moral, Legal & Practical Considerations On The High Seas

The Star Princess' refusal to assist the three young men aboard the disabled Fifty Cents fishing boat has captivated the world's attention.  My first article on the troubling story - Two Dead Fishermen:  Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners In Distress? - elicited strong comments by the public. One comment on my blog from "Martin" about the captain of the Princess cruise ship summed up the essence of the problem:

"They have forgotten the human being."

There is a palpable sense of outrage that Princess abandoned three young men on the high seas.    

Where does this sense of anger come from?  What are the moral and civil obligations which arise from the tragic and entirely avoidable deaths of the young Panamanian men.

Moral and Biblical Duty to Assist Your Fellow Man 

Bible, Matthew 7:12  When I was a kid, my mother raised me with one fundamental governing principle in mind.  She taught me that my purpose in life was to help others. Although I did not realize it at the time, she was paraphrasing the Bible, Matthew 7:12:     

"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the Law and the Prophets." (New Living Bible Translation)

The maritime obligation to assist people in distress at sea, in my view, is based firmly on the "Golden Rule" of helping others in the same way that you would want to be if you were in distress. 

The same life guiding principle is found in other faiths. There is an equivalent passage in the Torah, which warns people "never to turn aside the stranger, for it is like turning aside the most high God." The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that "the highest expression of faith is to love for others what you love for yourself and to dislike for others what you dislike for yourself."  In Buddhism, you will find "Act not on others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful."

The maritime duty of a mariner to assist less fortunate mariners in peril on the high seas can be traced back to the Medieval Sea Codes where unwritten maritime traditions from the times of Jesus were first reduced to parchment.  

A mariner on a seaworthy vessel who sails away from seafarers in distress on a derelict vessel is, in essence, sailing away from himself and God Almighty in the process.

Modern Legal Considerations 

The duty to assist at sea is a fundamental part of U.S. maritime law.  In Caminiti v. Tomlinson Fleet Corp., 1981 MAC 201 (E.D. Ohio), passengers went overboard from their pleasure craft.  Two ships passed by and didn't stop, with one of the ships even shining its spotlight on the men struggling in the water before callously proceeding on.  The men drowned.

The shipping companies denied they had any obligation to assist the drowning men. The Court disagree, finding that the "law of the sea has always demanded a higher degree of care, vigilance and diligence." The duty to rescue "strangers in peril" exists even if the ships did not cause the peril in the first place. The Court stated that to accept the shipping companies' argument would create a situation "shocking to humanitarian considerations and the commonly accepted code of social conduct."   

Currently, there are three international conventions which impose a duty on ships to assist individuals in distress at sea.

The first is the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) regulations found in the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS). The second is the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCOLOS). The third is the International Convention of Salvage (1989) (“Salvage Convention”).  All three conventions essentially state that a captain of a ship once notified of persons in distress shall proceed with all speed to their assistance. 

Tulane Maritime Law Professor Martin Davies wrote an interesting law article which discusses the legal basis for these legal duties - Obligations and Implications for Ships Encountering Persons in Need of Assistance at Sea.  Professor Davies refers to the Director for the Center for Seafarer Rights in New York who states in a footnote: "there is no doubt that watchkeepers on some vessels, at least, pointedly look the other way as they close on small craft far from the shore.  Quiet words undoubtedly been spoken to masters about the inadvisability of being too zealously on hand and available . . ."

Fifty Cents Fishing Boat - IgnoredThe conventions include criminal penalties; there is the potential for the captain to be imprisoned and he and his employer to be fined.

Generally, these obligations can be enforced in a criminal context only by the “flag state.” All cruise ships fly "flags of convenience" in order to avoid U.S. taxes and labor and safety laws. For example, Carnival flies the flag of Panama. Royal Caribbean flies the flags of Liberia and the Bahamas. And Princess Cruises, which operates the Star Princess, flies the flag of Bermuda.

These countries are generally considered to be hesitant to enforce these conventions. They do not want to upset their cruise line customers.  Maritime Professor Davies writes: "many ocean-going commercial ships are registered under flags of convenience in countries notoriously unlikely to be zealous in enforcing the legal obligations imposed by the conventions." 

Bermuda has a maritime law which applies, called the Merchant Shipping Act of 2002, which recognizes the duty to assist ships in distress.  It states in part:

"The master of a ship, on receiving at sea a signal of distress or information from any source that a ship or aircraft is in distress, shall proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress unless he is unable, or in the special circumstances of the case considers it unreasonable or unnecessary . . ."

The Bermuda law includes criminal penalties, ". . . on conviction on indictment, to a fine of $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of two years, or both."

Practical Considerations When Cruise Lines Violate International Conventions 

The legal framework is in place for Bermuda, as the flag state responsible for enforcing the IMO regulations, to investigate and proceed with a criminal hearing against Princess Cruises and its captain. The question is whether Bermuda will act and, if so, will act in good faith and seriously attempt to put the Princess captain behind bars.

I was interviewed last week by the BBC Radio and I expressed my doubts whether Bermuda will zealously proceed against Princess Cruises.  After all, Princess is Bermuda's customer.  Bermuda enjoys a chummy relationship with the California-based cruise line which favored Bermuda with its business. You can hear the BBC interview, including comments by one of the U.S. passengers who spotted the disabled fishing boat, here (the radio segment starts at the 36:25 mark).    

Bermuda states that it intends to conduct an investigation into the cruise ship’s failure to respond to the disabled fishing boats’ pleas for assistance.  But Bermuda does not have an impressive record Princess Cruises - Star Princess Cruise Shipinvolving criminal cases involving Bermuda flagged cruise ships. We have handled maritime crime cases against Bermuda flagged cruise ships, including a case where a woman was raped on the Star Princess, where Bermuda never even opened a file. 

If Bermuda white-washes the investigation and exonerates the captain, which I expect to be Bermuda's motivation for suddenly becoming interested in criminal conduct involving its ships, there is legal authority that other countries with an interest in the matter can to bring criminal action against the captain and the cruise line. Panama, whose citizens were killed by the captain's alleged dereliction of duty, can and should assert criminal jurisdiction if Bermuda fails to act or acts in bad faith.

This is a very significant issue because Princess cruise ships sail through the Panama Canal. If I were Princess Cruises, I would be very concerned that the Panamanian authorities will seize one of my cruise ships if it enters Panamanian waters.

Back to the Bible: An Eye For An Eye

In addition to the criminal issues, it is a certainty that the families of the survivor and the two dead young men will bring a civil action for compensation against the cruise line and the captain, either in the United States and/or Panama. It is also likely that they will file a notice of lien to seize a Princess cruise ship if one decides to sail through the Panama Canal.  

The civil lawsuit against Princess will also include punitive damages against the cruise lines seeking to punish the cruise line for its alleged willful and wanton conduct.  Like the obligation to assist others, the concept of punitive damages can be traced back to the Bible, Exodus 24:21: an "eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

 

Photo credits:

Fifty Cents Sail Boat - Jeff Gilligan

Star Princess - Jim Walker

 

A quote to remember this story: "Treat People As You Would Like to be Treated - Karma Is A Bitch Only If You Are" (author unknown). 

U.S. Coast Guard Medevacs Passenger From Carnival Victory Cruise Ship

The Coast Guard reports that it medically evacuated a 56 year passenger from the Carnival Fantasy cruise ship sixty miles southeast of Jacksonville on Today.

Crew members on board the cruise ship notified the Coast Guard just after 8 AM that a male passenger was experiencing respiratory failure and needed medical attention.

Coast Guard Air Station Savannah launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter rescue crew to the scene.

The helicopter arrived at the location of the Fantasy around 10 AM.  The crew lifted the passenger from the deck, along with his wife and a cruise ship nurse, and transport them to a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida.  The passenger is reportedly in stable condition. 

Two Dead Fishermen: Did Star Princess Cruise Ship Ignore Mariners in Distress?

Did Princess Cruises forsake young fishermen to die an excruciating death in order to keep its cruise itinerary?

That's what Don Winner, a blogger for Panama-Guide.com, wants to know.  Mr. Winner reports on some disturbing developments in his article "Panama Castaways Were Spotted By Cruise Ship Passengers - And Ignored By Ship's Captain."

The story involves the intersection of the paths of two ships, from different worlds so to speak,  The first vessel  - Fifty Cents Fishing Boat - Star Princess Cruise Shipthe Star Princess Star, a large luxury cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises of the Love Boat fame - filled with passengers enjoying a fun vacation.  The second vessel - Fifty Cents, a small (26 foot) fishing boat - with three young men aboard: Fernando Osorio, age 16; Adrian Vasquez, age 18; and Oropeces Betancourt, 24, all from Panama.

The crucial moment came on the morning of March 10, 2012 when the Star Princess was making the crossing from Ecuador to Costa Rica.  Mr. Winner writes that the little fishing boat's engine was dead and the boat was adrift when the giant Star Princess was seen steaming in its direction. The fishermen, who had been at sea for 2 weeks, waived for assistance but the cruise ship passed by.  The distraught fishermen must have concluded that their frantic waves were not seen by anyone on the cruise ship.

But it turns out that three cruise passengers (all bird watchers, with either keen vision and/or equally keen binoculars) observed the men calling for help and urgently alerted a crew member and pressed the matter further.  The cruise ship failed to stop.  One passenger tried to email the Coast Guard. When she contacted Princess' corporate offices in California, she was given the usual corporate non-response.     

The Star Princess' failure to assist the stricken vessel resulted in Oropeces Betancourt, 24, dying of dehydration later that same day. The youngest fisherman, Fernando Osorio, 16, died five days later after suffering from dehydration, sunburn and heat stroke.  Another nine days elapsed before Adrian Vasquez, 18, who survived on fish and rain water, was finally saved (while unconscious) from his ordeal near the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles from where the three young men had originally sailed from.

The Guardian newspaper in the U.K has picked up on the story. One of the three passengers who spotted the small boat, Judy Meredith, 65, from Bent, Oregon, told Adrian Vernandez - Fifty Cents - Star Princessthe Guardian:  "Finding out later that the Fifty Cents continued at sea for over two more weeks was horrific news. And two of the men died and both could have lived, had the cruise ship responded to our urgent request."

Mr. Winner subsequently contacted Vasquez, who confirmed that they had seen the cruise ship and had "signaled frantically with his red T-shirt and the orange life vest, believing it would rescue them."

Mr. Winner has published AIS tracking data (see below) indicating that the Star Princess was in the area at the time.  He has written a second article: "Captain Edward Perrin - In Command Of Cruise Ship That Failed To Rescue Panamanian Castaways" which appropriately questions why the Master of the Princess cruise ship failed to respond to the emergency.  As Mr. Winner correctly points out:

Regulation 33 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V states:

"The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance,

According To The Merchant Ship Search and Rescue Manual (MERSAR):

"It is accepted as the normal practice of seamen, indeed there is an obligation upon masters, that they render every assistance within their power in cases where a person or persons are in distress at sea. These obligations are set out in regulation V/10 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea." 

Princess Cruise Ship - Star Princess - Tracking Info AISThe families of the young dead fishermen deserve an explanation why their children died at sea in this manner.

What say you Captain Perrin?  

Will Princess Cruises let you talk?

This story deserves a wider audience and discussion. Please take a moment to post the story on your facebook page, tweet it, and ask Princess Cruises and its parent company, Carnival, for an explanation.

I asked Carnival for a statement and was told to contact Princess Cruises who I have not heard from yet.

April 18, 2012 Update:  Here's Princess Cruises' official statement we received last night.  It's disappointing to received something like this 5 weeks after the incident:

"We’re aware of the allegations that Star Princess supposedly passed by a boat in distress that was carrying three Panamanian fishermen on March 10, 2012. At this time we cannot verify the facts as reported, and we are currently conducting an internal investigation on the matter.

We were very saddened to learn that two lives were lost aboard the boat, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved.

Princess Cruises is dedicated to the highest standards of seamanship wherever our ships sail, and it is our duty to assist any vessel in distress. We have come to the aid of many people at sea, and we will continue to do so."

April 18, 2012 Update:  NPR has a story today indicating that one of the passenger contacted Princess Cruises after the cruise to see what action was taken. She says a customer relations representative told her "the captain reported a different version of the incident — and that according to the captain's log, the ship had been passing through a fishing fleet."

Meredith says she was told that the Star Princess contacted the boat and "that they were asking the ship to move to the west, because they didn't want their nets to be damaged. And that the ship altered course. And they were waving their shirts because they were thanking the ship." 

Did Captain Edward Perrin falsify his logs?

One thing that readers should remember is that Princess is conducting what it calls an "internal" investigation.  This means that it is obviously not public.  It's a closed, secret investigation that no one will know about except Princess' management and lawyers.

The other disturbing although predictable thing is that that Bermuda, the flag state, admits that it has not even decided to conduct an investigation.  Remember, Princess incorporated in Bermuda and flies flags of convenience on its ships to avoid paying U.S. income taxes or comply with U.S. safety laws and labor / wage laws.  Bermuda has a poor record of investigating crimes and instances of dereliction of duty.    

KPIC in Oregon has a video interview with one of the cruise passengers who spotted the disabled boat and says that he is "heartbroken" by the deaths of the men he saw waving for help. 

April 19, 2012 Update:  Princess has a new PR plan.  

Princess changes course, admits error, says Captain didn't know and is "devastated."

Not as devastated as the family of the dead.

 

 

Other coverage:

Panama-Guide.com 

KTVZ Oregon Video of Judy Meredith - watch video

BBC Radio 4 - 9 minute interview of cruise passenger who spotted boat, and Jim Walker regarding maritime law (starts at 36:25 mark) 

Examiner "Princess Cruise Line accused of ignoring doomed Panamanian fishermen

Christopher Elliott "Did Princess ship ignore a vessel asking for help?"

Mail Online U.K.  "Another Costa calamity: Concordia's sister cruise liner 'ignored' passenger pleas to help stranded fishing boat... on which two of its three crew died"

Guardian newspaper U.K. (by Gwyn Topham who has also written about cruise lines' poor response to overboard passengers) 

TVN Noticias "Crucero ve a pescadores panameños varados y pasa de largo"

Sun Sentinel "Report: Carnival reviewing claims a Princess ship ignored distressed fishermen"

MSNBC: "Passengers say cruise ship ignored stranded fishing boat"

National Public radio (NPR): "Cruise Ship Didn't Aid Drifting Boat, Passengers Say"

KPIC (Oregon) Cruise Passenger Heartbroken after Princess Cruise Ship Doesn't Stop

Columbia newspaper Semana: "Crucero ve a pescadores panameños varados y pasa de largo"

Swedish newspaper: "Kryssningsfartyg uppges ha ignorerat nödställda fiskare

German newspaper:  "Kreuzfahrtschiff soll Fischer in Seenot ignoriert haben

Huffington Post: "Princess Cruise Ship Allegedly Ignores Fishing Vessel In Distress"  

Globe and Mail "Drifting fishermen die after luxury cruise liner sails past but doesn't stop"

 

Photo credits:

Top: Fifty Cents fishing boat - Jeff Gilligan

Middle:  Adrian Vasquez rescued - AP via Mail Online

Bottom: Star Princess AIS tracking - Don Winner @Panama_Guide

Overboard Carnival Spirit Cruise Passenger Rescued

Last evening, a member of Cruise Critic commented that his father was sailing on the Carnival Spirit to Hawaii and texted him that a passenger went overboard in the Pacific.

Another passenger on board the cruise ship posted this comment:

They announced a Bravo Bravo about 45 mins ago. They then came on and announced it was a passenger that went over and we were circling around to look for them. Another announcement came that we were heading straight for them and were about two miles out. They asked everyone to look out for the passenger. Finally, a life boat went out and they announced the passenger was alright and in "Good Condition."

Some cruisers on the message board suggest that the passenger jumped from the Serenity deck, as ironic as that may be.

Great news the passenger was quickly rescued.

Rescue of overboard passengers and crew is relatively uncommon.  Last year in June, a passenger from the Norwegian Spirit cruise ship was rescued near New Orleans after going overboard into the Mississippi River en route to a seven day Western Caribbean cruise.  One of the most dramatic rescues occurred last October when a passenger went overboard from the P & O Ventura, in the dark, in the middle of the Atlantic, and yet was rescued.  Read: A Miracle In Dark Waters

If anyone has photos or video of this latest rescue, please leave a comment below. 

Carnival's statement is below:

STATEMENT REGARDING CARNIVAL SPIRIT
April 17, 2012 – 10:35 a.m. EDT

Yesterday, while the Carnival Spirit was en route to Hawaii, a 28-year-old man was witnessed jumping overboard. Search and rescue operations were initiated and the guest was located and brought back on board where he was treated at the ship’s medical center.

Carnival’s CareTeam is providing its support to the guest and his family.

Carnival Spirit is currently sailing on a 15-day Hawaii cruise that departed San Diego on April 13 and will return to San Diego on April 28.

###

Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Rafters, Again, To Be Deported Back To Cuba

The Miami Herald reports that Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas "rescued" twenty-three Cuban rafters as the cruise ship sailed from Falmouth Jamaica to Cozumel Mexico.

The story was also reported by the online cruise community Cruise Critic which uploaded a YouTube video about what it is also calling a "rescue."  Cruise Critic says that one of the onlooking cruise passengers can be heard saying, "it's lobster night tonight. Going to be eating pretty well tonight" and laughing.

Unlike the happy images projected by these cruise friendly publications, the Cuban rafters were hardly "rescued."  It is Royal Caribbean's policy to always report rafters to the U.S. Coast Guard with the result that the rafters are sent back to Cuba.  Here the Coast Guard instructed Royal Caribbean to turn the rafters over to the Mexican authorities who, in turn,will deport them to Cuba.

Eating lobster on the luxurious Oasis and then entering the U.S. through Mexico?  I don't think so.  

Eating swill in a Cuban jail?  More likely.

It must be a frustrating process for desperate Cuban families who find themselves sent right back to Cuba after risking their lives to come to the U.S. for freedom and better lives for their children.

It is a very weird proposition that a cruise line registered in Liberia, Africa, operating a cruise ship registered in the Bahamas, would intercept a boat full of people in international waters on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard and turn them over to Mexico to be deported back to Cuba. Some news accounts suggest that the rafters were not even trying to get to the U.S., but were trying to go to Honduras.     

In the last two years, Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the Oasis of the Seas (twice), Allure of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, have intercepted Cuban rafters five times:

Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants

Allure of the Seas "Rescues" Migrants Fleeing Cuba

Happy Fourth of July - Enjoy Your Freedom

Christmas Dreams in Miami of Cuban Rafters Crushed By Cruise Ship "Rescues"        

 

 

Video credit:  Spensafi / YouTube

Coast Guard Medevacs Pregnant Crew Member

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a woman from a cruise ship 145 miles south east of Galveston, on Apr. 1, 2012.

The Coast Guard station in Houston-Galveston received a report at approximately 8:08 p.m., that a 44-year old female crew member aboard the cruise ship, Carnival Magic, was having complications with her pregnancy. A MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and rescue crew arrived at the scene at approximately 10 p.m. The rescue crew hoisted the woman off the cruise ship Carnival Magic and transported her to awaiting emergency medical services at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.

To watch other rescue videos and articles, click on "Rescue" under the "Topics" section to the left.

  

 

Video Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Brahm.

Coast Guard Busy Rescuing Sick Cruise Passengers: Three Medevacs in Ten Days

The United States Coast Guard has been busy rescuing ill passengers from cruise ships over the past week. 

Today a newspaper in North Carolina reports that a Coast Guard helicopter medevaced a 49 year old woman from the Carnival Pride cruise ship.  The ship was near Virginia at the time of the emergency medical evacuation.  The medical condition of the passenger was not disclosed.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, launched to assist, hoisted the woman and ship’s nurse and took them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk.

Yesterday, the Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Belle Chase (near New Orleans) into the Gulf of Mexico to rescue a man aboard Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise ship.  According to a newspaper in New Orleans, a MH-65C helicopter flew 132 miles into the Gulf to medevac the passenger who was experiencing stroke-like symptoms. The Coast Guard then transferred the passenger to Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.

Last week, the Coast Guard medevaced a man from the Crown Princess, operated by Princess Cruises.  I don't have any information about this medevac. Does anyone have any information about this event or the other two medevacs?

A video of the Crown Princess rescue (credit tigertran01/youtube)  is below. 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs 47 Year Old Passenger From NCL Jewel

Yesterday a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter medevaced a 47 year old woman female off a cruise ship.  The cruise ship was approximately 115 miles northeast of Cape Henry.  

The captain of the cruise ship Norwegian Jewel cruise ship contacted the Coast Guard at around 5 PM, reporting they had a passenger with severe abdominal pains who needed medical attention ashore.
 
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. were dispatched to the scene.  The helicopter crew hoisted the woman and her husband off the cruise ship at approximately 7 PM.
 
The couple were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
 
 
 

 

Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Medevacs 73 Year Old Passenger From Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship

A 73 tear old passenger from the Carnival Triumph received a ride of a lifetime when an U.S. Coast Guard helicopter plucked him from the deck of the cruise ship and flew him to Galveston for emergency medical treatment.

The Carnival cruise ship was around 120 miles off the coast of Galveston when the Coast Guard performed the medical evacuations early Friday yesterday morning.

Carnival notified the Coast Guard around 10 PM Thursday night that the cruise passenger had a blood clot in his foot and needed immediate medical treatment.  An MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter was dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Houston around 11:40 PM>  As you can see from the Coast Guard video below, they helicopter crew successfully lifted the passengers from the Triumph cruise ship. He was flown to the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston.

We have reported on around a dozen Coast Guard - cruise ship medevacs this year.

 

Video credit:  U.S. Coast Guard via Houston Chronicle

Christmas Dreams in Miami of Cuban Rafters Crushed By Cruise Ship "Rescues"

NBC Miami reports today that twelve Cuban migrants on a raft trying to sail to the U.S. were intercepted after Royal Caribbean alerted the U.S. Coast Guard.

Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas cruise ship spotted the Cubans today and radioed the location of the raft to the Coast Guard in Miami. 

The NBC affiliate reports that one of the Cuban migrants, a 40-year-old man, had a foot injury and was allowed to go aboard the cruise ship for treatment.  The U.S. Coast Guard sent a vessel to the scene and took all 12 of the Cuban rafters. 

Under current U.S. immigration laws, the U.S. Coast Guard will take the Cubans back to Cuban where they will likely be imprisoned.

This is the second so-called rescue of Cubans trying to flee Cuban by a cruise ship in the last few days.

On December 21st, a Princess cruise ship "rescued" 20 Cubans, including 9 children.  CBS affiliate KPHO Channel 5 in Scottsdale Arizona reports that three families from ages 3 to 80 were picked up by the Princess cruise ship on its way back from the Panama Canal.  A Scottsdale man vacationing on the cruise ship captured the event on camera.

The Cuban escapees tried to make it to American land.  Cruise passenger Nestor Guzman, himself an immigrant, explained that being rescued doesn't  mean they were freed, because the Cuban refugees never made it to American soil and were found at sea, they were returned to Cuba.  "It was good that they didn't perish in the middle of the ocean," Guzman said.

"What is going to happen now that they go back to Cuba?  All the dream lost . . .  To me especially, being from Latin America it was very emotional because I see the desire to go to the U.S. to be free after all these years, I'm sure all their partners were thinking about their children, we want the kids to be in America."

 

 

These two "rescues" this week end a frustrating year for desperate Cuban families who find themselves sent right back to Cuba after risking their lives to come to the U.S. for freedom and better lives for their children.  In the last year, four Royal Caribbean cruise ships, The Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Monarch of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas, have intercepted Cuban rafters:  

Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants

Allure of the Seas "Rescues" Migrants Fleeing Cuba 

Happy Fourth of July - Enjoy Your Freedom

 

Video credit: CBS affiliate KPHO Channel 5

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Passenger from Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship

The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an ill passenger from the Queen May 2 cruise ship off of the coast of North Carolina.

The video below shows the the skilled crew of a Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter lifting a 64 year old woman from the deck of the QM2 cruise ship.  The passenger was suffering from severe abdominal pains.  The cruise ship was sailing 110 miles off the coast of Nags Head, North Carolina on December 20, 2011.  The Coast Guard flew the ill woman to a hospital in Norfolk Virginia. 

 

 

Video Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard

Rescued Passenger Kisses and Waves Goodbye to Cruise Ship

One of the stories I never tire of reporting is when a Coast Guard helicopter plucks a sick cruise passenger from the deck of a cruise ship and takes the passenger ashore for emergency medical treatment.

The skill of the U.S. Coast Guard in rescuing people from cruise ships is rather remarkable. The Coast Guard can fly 200 miles out to sea to medevac ill and injured passengers and crew.  Other than England, Canada and perhaps a few other countries, you will not see anyone performing life saving heroic missions to rescue the needy on the high seas other than the U.S. Coast Guard.     

Below is a video of a Coast Guard helicopter hoisting a young woman from the deck of the Explorer cruise ship as the ship returned from a Caribbean cruise.  The helicopter took the passenger to a hospital in Key West.

At the end of the video, you can see the young lady in the rescue basket waving to the cruise ship, and kissing goodbye perhaps to a loved one below.

 

 

Video credit:  U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Royal Caribbean Cruise Passenger

WSVN - TV reports that the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a cruise passenger after she experienced symptoms of appendicitis.

The incident occurred on December 12, 2011 on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas cruise ship about 130 miles southwest of Key West.  A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted the 21 year old cruise passenger and transported her to the Lower Keys Medical Center. The cruise ship was sailing back to Port Everglades, Florida.

This is the second Coast Guard rescue of a sick cruise passenger yesterday.  Earlier today we reported on the Coast Guard medevacing an Ill NCL passenger off the coast of North Carolina.  

 

 

December 13, 2011 Update and Correction:  An astute reader of Cruise Law News noted that the cruise ship is not Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas but, instead, is the SAS' Explorer.  Thanks to Tom Roesser from Hawaii who you can follow on twitter at @tomsroesser

Thanks Tom!
 

 

 

Video Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard via WSVN

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick NCL Cruise Passenger

A number of news sources are reporting that yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an ill cruise passengerman from a cruise ship to a North Carolina hospital for treatment.

The ship doctor on the Norwegian Cruise ine's Gem cruise ship notified the Coast Guard that  a 38-year-old man was going into shock. The cruise ship was reportedly about 75 miles east of Wilmington at the time.

A helicopter from the Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City North Carolina then flew the man from the cruise ship to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

The Coast Guard says the man was in stable condition. His name was not released.

 

Sun Princess Responds to Disabled Sailboat

Scotch Bonnett - Sun Princess Cruise ShipYesterday the Sun Princess cruise ship responded to a disabled sailing yacht in the middle of the Tasman Sea.

The Tasman Sea is a wide body of water measuring some 1,200 miles across, between Australia and New Zealand. 

According to the Ballina Shire Advocate, the vessel, named the Scotch Bonnet, was adrift when it was located by the crew of the Sun Princess.  It was de-masted apparently due to rough weather. 

The vessel had been sailing from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand's North Island to Sydney. 

After the Sun Princess pulled alongside the derelict vessel, the crew of the cruise line determined that no one was aboard. 

The cruise ship then communicated with the "Rescue Co-ordination Centre" on the mainland and was given permission to continue the voyage to Brisbane.

The Sun Princess was on day twelve of a fourteen day cruise from Brisbane to the South and North Islands of New Zealand when it encountered the Scotch Bonnet.

If anyone has information regarding the safety of the Scotch Bonnett's crew, please leave a comment below.

Tasman Sea

U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Sick Cruise Passenger From Carnival Spirit

The LA Times reports that yesterday the U.S. Coast Guard saved the life of a 77 year old cruise passenger from the Carnival Spirit while the cruise ship was 230 miles southwest of San Diego. 

The cruise passenger reportedly showed signs of a stroke and was medically evacuated from the Carnival cruise ship by a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter dispatched from San Diego.

The video below shows the helicopter lifting someone who appears to be a nurse, then the ill passenger, and finally a member of the helicopter crew.

Thank God that ill passengers have the benefit of skilled and dedicated men and women of our country's Coast Guard to help them out in tight spots like this:    

 

 

 

Video credit:

U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego; produced by PADET San Diego: and edited by Petty Officer 2nd Class Henry G. Dunphy

Coast Guard to Rescue Three Passengers from HAL Cruise Ship Oosterdam

At this moment the U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of medevacing three elderly passengers from a cruise ship 100 miles east of from Hilo, Hawaii. 

The Republic reports that an 86 year old man appears to having a heart attack, an 82 year old man has symptoms of internal bleeding, and a 76 year old woman is suffering from abdominal pains.

The helicopter deployed two helicopters and a plane to the Holland America Line cruise ship, the Oosterdam.  The cruise ship is headed for San Diego.  The Coast Guard intends to take the ill passengers to Hilo Medical Center.

A cruise ship in the middle of the ocean is not where you want to be if you are gravely ill. 

The newspaper reports that a Coast Guard flight surgeon made the decision to medically evacuate the elderly passengers after hearing about their conditions from the ship's medical staff.

We have covered lots of cruise ship medevac stories, but none involving three separate passengers in need of emergency medical evacuation.

If you are on the cruise ship and have information or photographs or video of the medevac, please leave us a comment below. 

 

 

Video Credit:  U.S. Coast Guard / Department of Homeland Security

Celebrity Century Cruise Ship Rescues Injured Sailor in Pacific

Earlier this month, crewmembers aboard the Celebrity Century cruise ship recorded interesting video of the rescue of an injured skipper in the Pacific as the cruise ship sailed to Hawaii.

The incident involved the Quantum Leap, a 49 foot sailing yacht which was being delivered from San Diego to Honolulu by captain Phillip Johnson, together with his nephew and another friend. 

After the sailboat left California, it began experiencing problems with its generators and batteries, which compromised power to the sailboat's satellite phone and GPS. 

Captain Johnson was injured badly when rough weather struck the sailboat. Because of the distance to the closest port (some 700 miles), the U.S. Coast Guard was unable to send a helicopter but contacted vessels in the area.

In this case, the Celebrity Century was sailing to Hilo.  As explained in an interesting account from Sail World,  Celebrity Captain Konstantinos Patsoulas turned the 815 foot cruise ship around and headed for the sailboat which took approximately 12 hours. 

You can see how the cruise ship deployed the rescue boat and took the crew of the Quantum Leap aboard the cruise ship, to the applause of the passengers and crew.  The sailboat was adrift as the Century then continued it cruise to Hawaii.  

Sail World also explains about how, three weeks later, the Quantum Leap washed ashore on a beach in Maui without its captain or crew . . . 
 

 

An interesting account of the rescue is also contained in an article "Rescue at Sea" by Lorraine Thompson who was cruising with her husband, Charles, on their 56th cruise. 

Video credit: wb6jao (YouTube)

Norwegian Gem Rescues Disabled Sailboat Northeast of Bermuda

According to WAVY.com, on October 29, 2011, the Norwegian Gem cruise ship responded to a distress signal initiated by a disabled sailboat which had lost power and was taking on water.  The sailboat was 256 miles northeast of Bermuda, and it would have taken days for a Coast Guard cutter to respond from the U.S. 

The Coast Guard sent a C-130 aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina and coordinated the arrival of the NCL cruise ship which was in the area.  

The Norwegian Gem deployed a lifeboat which the NCL crew tethered to the sailboat which had five sailors aboard.

 

 

Video Credit:  WAVY.com

 

Overboard Cruise Passenger Rescued

Princess Seaways RescueNews sources in the U.K. are reporting on the dramatic rescue of a 23 year old passenger who fell from what is being described as a cruise ferry which was heading from England to the Netherlands. 

The incident reportedly occurred, according to the Whitley Gazette, on Monday night around 9:00 PM when the young woman trying to light a cigarette near a railing.

The ship in question is the Princess Seaways which, according to the Journal Live in the U.K., was built in 1986  and is a "large cruise ferry," subsequently renovated in 2006, with the capacity for 580 cars and can more than 1,500 passengers."  

The passenger was in the water for thirty minutes.  The ship turned around and the crew rescued her and she was evaluated by the ship doctor.  

A RAF helicopter then transported the lucky passenger back to England where she was checked for hypothermia.  The video below shows the helicopter hoisting the young woman from the deck of the ferry.  

Don't you wish that all overboards turned out like this? 

September 8, 2011 Update:  Mail Online in the U.K. has identifed the young woman as Ms. Jeni Anderson from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, who was celebrating her graduation from Northumbria University. The newspaper quotes her as being "very, very lucky."


 

 
 
Video credit:  RAF via YouTube SpecialAgent08
 
Photo credit: Mail Online

 

Happy Fourth of July - Enjoy Your Freedom

Happy Fourth of July!

Two hundred and thirty-five years ago - on July 4, 1776 - the Second Continental Congress voted to declare the independence of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain. 

In the 1700"s my family's ancestors got in a boat and sailed from Great Britain to the U.S.  I have always thought about what that must have been like, to leave your homeland and embark on a voyage to a new world.  A world of liberty. 

Independence Day is a symbolic day of the break from tyranny and the emergence of a new nation based on concepts of freedom and self-determination.    

Independence Day remains a great American tradition - associated with fireworks, family barbecues, picnics, and baseball games. 

But there are many people who do not enjoy freedom from tyranny.

Cuban Rafters - Oasis of the Seas This weekend saw seven Cubans "rafters" trying to escape Cuba and come to the U.S. for a better life.  But they were stopped by a cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, and taken aboard and then handed over to the U.S. Coast Guard.  Rather than celebrating the 4th of July in Little Havana in Miami, these rafters are back in Castro's Cuba.   

Newspapers and television stations in South Florida called this a "rescue."  

According to an agreement between the U.S. and Cuba, often called the “wet-foot, dry-foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. shores are allowed to stay.  But those intercepted by the Coast Guard at sea are forced back to Cuba. 

This is not the first time a Royal Caribbean cruise ship "rescued" Cuban immigrants. 

On May 15th, the Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas stopped to pick up nine Cubans as the cruise ship sailed back to Fort Lauderdale.

On May 1st, the Navigator of the Seas picked up eight Cubans 40 miles north of Cuba.  You can see the dramatic photos here.

Last December, the Monarch of the Seas picked up six Cubans who had been at sea.  You can read about that ordeal in Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants.

In all of these cases, the U.S. Coast Guard sent the Cubans back to Cuba. In all of these cases, the Miami press called the interceptions a "rescue."    But these are no rescues.  These are interceptions.  As we light fireworks, attend family reunions, and watch our favorite baseball teams, these brave people who risked their lives seeking freedom and liberty are likely in a Cuban jail.  

     

Photo credit:  Cruise passenger Christi Nasser via the Miami Herald 

Passenger from the NCL Spirit Rescued from the Mississippi River

Multiple news sources are reporting that a passenger from a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship went overboard in the Mississippi River last night. 

The Norwegian Spirit had sailed for approximately three hours from New Orleans when the passenger went into the river around 8:00 p.m.

NCL Spirit Overboard - Norwegian Cruise LinesA rescue boat was deployed from the NCL cruise ship.  The passenger was rescued and returned  back to the cruise ship.

The passenger was injured and received medical treatment aboard the cruise ship which made arrangements to disembark the passenger ashore further treatment.

There are no reports explaining how and why the passenger went overboard.  The good news is that the passenger was rescued safely, which is not the usual outcome of cases like this.

A photograph was taken of the rescue by a passenger aboard the cruise ship and posted via Twitter, @sheets.

Does anyone have information about this latest overboard?  Please leave a comment below.

 

Photo credit:   @sheets

Dramatic Rescue of Critically Ill, Wheelchair Bound Cruise Passenger from Independence of the Seas

BBC News is reporting today on the dramatic rescue of a critically ill passenger from Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas.

The U.K. Coast Guard was notified by the captain of the Independence of the Seas on Saturday night that a passenger was very ill and needed to be evacuated from the cruise ship.  A helicopter was dispatched from Portland, which is in southern England on the Dorset coast, 23 miles out to the cruise ship.  

Medevac - Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship - Medical EmergencyThe BBC reports that the helicopter was too heavy for the cruise ship's landing pad.  The vessel's crew had to lift the passenger, in her wheelchair, up and into the helicopter as it hovering above them. 

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokeswoman is quoted stating "in a supreme example of skill, the coastguard helicopter pilot touched the wheels of the aircraft on to the moving deck of the Independence of the Seas, keeping the rotors powered-up so that no weight was taken by the relatively fragile landing pad."

The helicopter then flew the ill woman and her husband to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester.

The BBC did not comment on the nature of the cruise passenger's critical illness.

We have received comments from crew and passengers that the Independence of the Seas has been experiencing Norovirus outbreaks for much of this year, although it is unknown what ailed this particular passenger.

The Independence of the Seas was last in the news when an oil tanker exploded while the cruise ship was docked at the port in Gibraltar.   

 

Photo credit:  Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Fertig via Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System (image is of U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter responding to a medical emergency aboard the Explorer of the Seas 230 miles east of Cape Henry Virginia on March 11, 2011.) 

Coast Guard Medevacs Carnival Passenger

WVEC (local ABC channel 13) reports that the Coast Guard airlifted an ill  60 year old passenger from a cruise ship off the coast of North Carolina yesterday. 

The passenger was sailing on Carnival's Miracle when he had a heart attack.

The Coast Guard sent a MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City to medevac the man from the Carnival cruise ship, which was about 43 miles off the North Carolina coast.  The passenger was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Passenger Medevac & Crew Suicide Mar Celebrity Eclipse Cruise

Yesterday, we discussed the latest overboard from a Celebrity cruise ship, this time involving a 31 year old Filipino on the Eclipse who by all accounts committed suicide by climbing a rail and jumping into the English Channel.

While some people may be inclined to say oh,a suicide end of the story, my thought is that an investigation is warranted to study the significant number of crewmembers who decide to end their life in this manner.  Is there a correlation between the long hours and difficult working conditions of "ship life" and crew suicides?   

There are a number of interesting comments posted on line about this sad incident, which apparently occurred shortly after an ill passenger was medevaced from the Eclipse.  A medevac of an ill passenger and a crew suicide is not how you want to remember a family cruise holiday.   

One post links to Ship Finder which charted the cruise ship altering course and returning to the location where the crewmember went overboard.  It looks like the Eclipse may have originally  altered course to sail closer to France to meet the helicopter involved in the passenger medical evacuation.  

Eclipse Cruise Ship Medical Evacuation

  

Image credit:   Lee Armstrong via Pinkfroot

Coast Guard Medevas Ill Passenger From Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a press release indicating that  a MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Sitka safely medevaced a woman from the cruise ship Celebrity Millennium during an Alaskan cruise.  The Coast Guard helicopter transported the passenger to Hoonah where she was then flown by aircraft to Juneau. 

The passenger, a 59 nine year old woman, reportedly was suffering from symptoms of a stroke.

Medical evacuations by helicopter are routine during emergencies like this while cruise ships are in relatively close proximity to U.S. and Canadian ports of call.

Allure of the Seas "Rescues" Migrants Fleeing Cuba

The Miami Herald reports that  Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas stopped to pick up nine Cubans (eight men and one woman) as the cruise ship sailed back to Fort Lauderdale around 2 p.m. today.   

The newspaper indicates that the migrants had been at sea for eight days. The cruise ship personnel provided food, water and medical attention to the Cubans.  The narration to the video mentions that the immigrants were using "brooms" to paddle, but you can clearly see from photos posted on the Cruise Critic site that they were using long paddles. 

Although you can hear the cheers on the video when the migrants were rescued, the story does not end happily for the Cubans.  The U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security will undoubtedly deport then back to Cuba where they run the risk of ending up in one of Castro's jails.

In this video, you can see the rescue vessel taking the Cubans out to a Coast Guard cutter which arrives on the scene.

This is not the first time a Royal Caribbean cruise ship "rescued" Cuban immigrants.  On May 1st, the Navigator of the Seas picked up eight Cubans 40 miles north of Cuba.  You can see the dramatic photos here.

Last December, the Monarch of the Seas picked up six Cubans who had been at sea for 15 days in a raft consisting of a bunch of tires tied together with a makeshift sail.  If they made it ashore to the U.S. they could remain here; however, if they are "caught" in the water by the U.S. Coast Guard, they will be deported.  You can read about that ordeal in Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants.

 

 

Video credit:  Hinch family via Miami Herald / CBS Channel 4 (Miami) 

Two Princess Cruise Ships Diverted to Bermuda to Disembark Sick Passengers

A magazine in Bermuda is reporting that two cruise ships recently diverted toward Bermuda to transfer ill passengers ashore for medical treatment.

On May 9th, the Princess Crown Princess diverted to Bermuda to disembark a 57 year old male passenger who was suffering from breathing difficulties. The magazine reports that the pilot cutter St. George met the cruise ship at the sea buoy and the sick passenger was transfered between the two vessels. 

Pilot Boat - Cruise ShipOpen water passenger transfers are potentially dangerous exercises.  You will recall that a rescue vessel recently dropped an elderly passenger into freezing water while trying to transfer her ashore.  A recent investigation found that the crew used unsafe procedures and did not even place a life vest on the sick passenger.

In this case, the Princess passenger was transferred safely to the pilot boat and then ashore where an awaiting ambulance transported him to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. 

The second diversion occured on May 7th when Princess' Grand Princess altered course toward Bermuda to disembark a 55 year old male passenger who needed urgent medical attention.  The passenger was also transfered ashore via the same pilot boat.

Both Princess cruise ships were sailing from Port Everglades, Florida to the Azores Islands.

 

Photo credit  kathhooson Flickr

NCL Crew Member Medevaced to Bermuda

Norwegian Sun Cruise ShipThe Royal Gazette newspaper reports that a crew member from the the Norwegian Sun cruise ship was transported to Bermuda because of a medical emergency.

The Norwegian Cruise Line ship was near Bermuda after sailing from Port Canaveral, Florida en route to the Azores when the 23 year old Peruvian crew member became ill.

The cruise ship took the crew member off the ship by stretcher to a pilot vessel which transported her to the island of Bermuda where she was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Cruise Lines like NCL have a non-delegable duty to provide prompt, adequate and complete medical care to their ill and injured crew members. 

Medevacs involving crewmembers are relatively rare, especially compared to medical evacuations of passengers.

Cruise Ship Passenger Dropped in Frigid Water Dies

Sad news.  Cruise passenger Janet Richardson, who was dropped from off of a stretcher while rescue staff tried to transfer her from the Ocean Countess cruise ship to a rescue vessel, died in the hospital in the U.K.

Ms. Richardson suffered from some medical problems and apparently was experiencing internal bleeding when a decision was made to take her to hospital by a rescue vessel.  We have reported on the disastrous circumstances which thereafter followed in prior articles.

Janet Richardson Cruise ShipThe news sources we have read indicate that she remained in the freezing waters from 4 to 8 minutes.  An autopsy may indicate whether her death was due to her illness or the shock of the fall and exposure to freezing water.

According to the U.K. press, Ms. Richardson's husband, George, said: “Janet died peacefully on Thursday night in the Cumberland infirmary with her family and friends around her."

The cruise ship was operated by Cruise and Maritime voyages.  A spokesperson for the cruise operator told the U.K. press: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the richardson ­family at this sad time.”

We first learned of Ms. Richardson's passing when her niece left a message on our YouTube site which has a video regarding the incident:

"This is my auntie .  .  .  such a lovely kind and very caring person who will be greatly missed, we all love you so much  . . ." 

 

Photo credit:  Patrick Hill via BBC News 

Video Update on Botched Cruise Passenger Rescue

SkyNews has an interesting update on the situation involving  cruise passenger Janet Richardson who was dropped from off of a stretcher while trying to transfer from the Ocean countess cruise ship to a rescue vessel into -3 Celsius waters off the coast of Norway (there is a reason why I live in South Florida).  Regrettably, Ms. Richardson does not seem to be improving.

We have written prior article about this incident: Cruise Passenger Dropped into Freezing Waters During Botched Rescue and yesterday we posted photographs of the terrifying ordeal. 

 

 

Video:  SkyNews

  

Cruise Passenger Dropped into Freezing Waters During Botched Rescue - Continued

Today, a number of newspapers in the U.K. published articles about an incident we reported on April 6th - Cruise Passenger Dropped into Freezing Waters During Botched Rescue - involving a seriously ill British passenger from the Ocean Countess cruise ship who was inadvertently dumped into freezing waters off of the coast of Norway by the crew of a rescue vessel.  Our article was based on a news account from the U.K.'s Champion newspaper.     

The rescue vessel and cruise ship drifted apart as the passenger, 73 year old Janet Richardson, was in a precarious position between the two vessels, causing the crew to dump the passenger from the stretcher into the icy waters. 

The most remarkable photographs (taken by Patrick Hill) are found in the U.K.'s Mail Online, showing the sequence of events as the crew attempts to transfer the stretcher between the vessels (top), the passenger in the water after being dumped (middle), and the vessels begin to leave the passenger behind (bottom).

As we mentioned in our prior article, the passenger remained in the water for approximately eight minutes before being finally pulled into the rescue vessel.  It is extraordinarily negligent for the passenger not to have been thrown a rope immediately or for her not to have been fitted with a rope attached to a life-vest, not to mention being dumped from the stretcher into the water in the first place.  

Ocean Countess Rescue  

Ocean Countess Rescue  

Ocean Countess Rescue

Photo credit:  Patrick Hill via U.K.'s Mail Online

Medevac from Carnival Cruise Ship Saves Teen's Life

A family from Illinois is thankful that their son survived a medical emergency during a Caribbean cruise aboard Carnival's Dream cruise ship which quickly turned into a nightmare. 

NBC Chicago reports that the Cohn family were three days into their week long cruise, when their 14 year old son Stephen became very ill with severe stomach pain and internal bleeding.

Heading to St. Thomas, the captain diverted the cruise ship to Puerto Rico.  However, Stephen's medical  condition deteriorated and the captain summoned a coast guard helicopter to medevac the child from the ship.  The child's mom, Michelle Cohn, was also lifted from the cruise ship and accompanied her son to an intensive care unit in Puerto Rico.

The helicopter rescue avoided what would have been a 6 hours journey to the port in Puerto Rico.

The boy's parents thanked Carnival for saving their son's life, saying "They saved his life. They absolutely saved his life." 

For other happy endings, read our articles about cruise ship medevacs here.

 

 

 

Video credit:  NBC Chicago

Cruise Passenger Dropped into Freezing Waters During Botched Rescue

A newspaper in the U.K. reports that a seriously ill British passenger was inadvertently dumped into freezing waters off of the coast of Norway during what is described as a "bungled cruise ship rescue."  

The Champion newspaper reports that a couple on the cruise ship, Colin and Sheila Prescott, watched in horror as Norwegian emergency crews were attempting to transfer the sick passenger Ocean Countess Rescue - Freezing Waterfrom the cruise ship to a rescue vessel.  The two vessels drifted apart several feet as the transfer was taking place, causing the rescue crew to drop the stretcher into the icy sea. 

Mr. Prescott snapped a photo of the incident.   

The water was reportedly "minus three degrees" (celsius - salt water begins to freeze at this temperature).  The passenger was in the water for about "eight minutes or so" before she was finally rescued and transported shore-side to the hospital.

The newspaper reports that the incident involved the "Ocean Princess," which seems to be an error.  It appears the cruise ship was actually the Ocean Countess operated by  Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

April 20, 2011 Update: A number of newspapers are now reporting on this story and contain some interesting photos - Cruise Passenger Dropped into Freezing Waters During Botched Rescue - Continued.

 

 

Photo credit:  Colin Prescott via Champion newspaper

Another Near Disaster in Antarctica: Polar Star Runs Aground

Polar Star Runs Aground - AntarcticaMultiple news sources are reporting that another small cruise ship to Antarctica has run aground. 

This time it was the Polar Star which was carrying 115 passengers and crew when it ran aground in the Matha Strait, on its way back to Argentina.  Rescue workers based at the Chilean port of Punto Arenas were evacuating the ship, which left the port of Ushuaia (in southern Argentine) last week with 80 passengers and 35 crew members. 

The passengers reportedly included 32 Americans, 9 Canadians, 14 Britons and 8 Australians.

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) released a statement indicating that the cruise ship suffered a hole in the outer hull, with the inner hull intact.

There have been a number of mishaps on cruises to and from Antarctica recently, with several groundings and one horrifying trip with extreme weather: 

The Clelia II - Another Antarctic Cruise Ship Skirts Disaster 

The Clelia II Skirts Disaster Again in Antarctica

Who's Responsible When a Cruise Ship Sinks in Antarctica?

Carnival Valor Cruise Ship Rescues Three Men and a Cat

NBC - 2 News reports that Carnival Cruise Line's Valor cruise ship rescued three Floridians (and their cat) just 12 miles off the coast of Cuba around 2 p.m. yesterday. The motor boat was ownded by Wes Demott of Naples.  A Carnival cruise ship came to the rescue. One of the passengers, Carl Ray, recorded the rescue.  The two other passengers were from Fort Myers and Port Charlotte.

Carnival issued the following statement:

On January 22, 2010 at approximately 2:00 p.m. the Carnival Valor engaged in the rescue of three U.S. citizens and a cat, after receiving a distress call from a nearby small craft vessel. All three individuals and the cat were brought onboard. According to the individuals rescued they departed Key West on January 20, and were headed towards the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula. The Carnival Valor was returning to the Port of Miami from a seven-day Caribbean cruise and arrived as scheduled at the port earlier this morning.

January 24, 2011 Update This story is receiving a lot of press, including being covered by USA Today which has a story "Carnival Cruise Ship Sails to the Rescue of Cat Lost at Sea."  Why is it that the media will cover a cat-rescued-at-sea story but ignores the recent passenger-lost-at-sea story we covered two weeks ago??   

 

 

 

 

Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Passenger From Holland America Cruise Ship

The U.S. Coast Guard evacuated a 46 year old passenger from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico following a fall on Saturday.

Passenger Andrew Spicer was aboard Holland America Line's Ryndam cruise ship when he was reportedly injured.  The cruise  was roughly 120 miles southwest of St. Petersburg when the Coast Guard helicopter arrived around 8:00 p.m.  Mr. Spicer was taken to Tampa General hospital.

On Friday, a  Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew medevaced a 16 month old  girl and her mother off the Norwegian Gem cruise ship approximately 245 miles south of Cape Lookout, North Carolina.  The infant was suffering from upper respiratory tract infection and respiratory distress.

Our U.S. Coast Guard serves an important function of transporting sick and injured passengers to emergency medical facilities ashore.  Earlier in the week we discussed the medical and legal implications of cruise medevacs in U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Sick Teenager from NCL's Jewel.

Where you on any of these cruises?  Do you have photos or video to share?  Please leave a comment  .  .  .

U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Sick Teenager from NCL's Jewel

The United States Coast Guard crews medevaced an ill thirteen year old from the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Jewel cruise ship near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on Saturday. 

The boy had symptoms of acute appendicitis.  The Coast Guard lifted the boy and his mother from the deck of the Jewel and flew them to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

This is the type of story which we have reported on frequently.  Medical rescues like this are a regular occurrence when there is a medical emergency and the cruise ships are within the range of Coast Guard helicopters.  As I have said many times, a cruise ship is one of the last places on earth you want to be if you have a serious medical issue. 

One of the most infamous involving appendicitis aboard a cruise ship is Carnival v. Carlyle.  A family from Michigan sailed on Carnival's Ecstasy when 14 year old Elizabeth felt ill with abdominal pain.  The family took their daughter to the ship infirmary.  The  foreign trained doctor repeatedly told the family that the child had only the flu.  When the family returned home, a qualified doctor diagnosed a ruptured appendix and infection, but due to the delayed diagnosis and treatment the young girl was rendered sterile.

Carnival defended the case by claiming that it was not responsible for the malpractice of "independent contractors."  The cruise line and the cruise industry fought the case for a decade and finally won before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The bottom line?  The family went on a family cruise vacation and their daughter returned home sterile due to the gross negligence of the Carnival ship doctor.  After ten years of litigation, the young girl received nothing.    

So when I see a helicopters picking up a sick kid off of a cruise ship, I know that one parent's prayers have been answered.  They will not have to suffer like the Carlyle family from Michigan.

So, thanks to the the U.S. Coast Guard!

The medevac was filmed by a passenger, Allan, aboard the Jewel:

    

 

Credit:   CNN iReport

Royal Caribbean Intercepts Cuban Immigrants

Cuba - Rafter -Intercepted - Rescued - Cruise Ship  The news today is filled with stories about a cruise ship which "rescues" rafters adrift in the Atlantic.

What the news reports fail to mention is that the "rafters" were trying to get to Florida.  They are  probably already back in Cuba pursuant to U.S. immigration policy. 

Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas cruise ship reportedly "rescued" six people who were floating on a raft near the Bahamas. 

A passenger on the cruise ship spotted the raft and the ship stopped.  As most of the news reports claim, the cruise ship then "rescued" the people on the raft.

An employees of a Houston news station FOX 35 employee (Scott Schroeder)  was on cruise ship and reported that the raft looked like "it was a group of tires tied together with green burlap and a makeshift sail."  

The make-shift raft had apparently been at sea for 15 days.  The Fox employee says the captain of the ship told the cruise ship passengers that there were seven people on board the raft and one of them died.

As tragic as this is, the indignity is that the survivors, probably related in some way to the deceased "rafter," will be deported back to the evil Castro regime in Cuba.  If they made it ashore to the U.S. they would one day be raising their children in Miami (God bless them).  But if they are "caught" in the water by the U.S. Coast Guard, they will be "deported" / "repatriated" back to Cuba to face, at best, an uncertain future.   

Perhaps this is a "rescue' in the minds of the happy-go-lucky cruise passengers and the PR people at the cruise lines, but according to the Cubans in the raft seeking freedom in Miami - they undoubtedly feel that they are screwed.

May 15, 2011 Update:  Royal Caribbean "rescues" another boat of Cubans fleeing Castro: Allure of the Seas "Rescues" Migrants Fleeing Cuba.

Rescue - Repatriation - Cuban Refugess - Cruise Ship

 

Credits:  Fox 35 Houston

U.S. Coast Guard Medevacs Another Passenger From Holland America Cruise Ship

Last night, the U.S. Coast Guard performed a medical evacuation of a 75-year-old passenger who became sick while cruising on the Holland America cruise ship, Oosterdam, about 180 miles southwest of San Diego.

A HC-130 Hercules aircraft from the Coast Guard station in Sacramento located the HAL ship ship.  A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter dispatched from the Coast Guard's San Diego station then medevaced the passenger to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.

The medevac came just 2 days after the Coast Guard assisted the disabled cruise ship Carnival Splendor into San Diego.

In October, the Coast Guard conducted essentially an identical rescue.   A 74-year-old passenger with pancreatis was rescued from HAL's Oosterdam 36 miles from San Diego and sent via helicopter to Scripps Memorial Hospital. 

The U.S. Coast Guard spends millions of dollars a year assisting passengers who are sick or injured on foreign flagged cruise ships.

Coast Guard Medevac - Cruise Ship - Medical Rescue

Photo credit:

U.S. Coast Guard via Cruise Critic member Copper10-8 (depicting medevac from HAL Noordam)

Another Cruise, Another Coast Guard Rescue

The Coast Guard is reporting that it medically evacuated a 17-year-old female passenger from a cruise ship 83 nautical miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C. Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a phone call from a crewmember aboard the cruise ship Carnival Pride at approximately 8 p.m. stating that there was a female aboard who was experiencing symptoms of appendicitis.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City was launched at 9:30 p.m. to respond. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 11:30 p.m., and hoisted the 17-year-old female, her mother and the cruise ship’s nurse. The helicopter crew then transferred them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.
 

Coast Guard Rescues Sick Passenger From Carnival's Spirit Cruise Ship

Cruise Law News is a big fan of the United States Coast Guard which came to the rescue of a 79-year-old passenger aboard the Carnival cruise ship Spirit yesterday. 

According to 10News.com, the Carnival cruise ship was about 570 miles south of San Diego when the vessel notified the USCG that a passenger was experiencing health problems.  At around 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, a 41-foot-long Coast Guard utility boat met the cruise ship at the entrance to San Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship - Passenger MedevacDiego Bay.  The sick passenger and a member of the cruise ship's medical staff were taken by the Coast Guard to the San Diego Harbor Police dock. The patient was then taken by ambulance to Scripps Mercy Hospital.  The nature of the passenger's medical problem and her current condition were not discussed. 

For other articles on Coast Guard medevacs, consider reading:

U.S. Coast Guard Medivacs Passenger From HAL Cruise Ship

Helicopter Medevacs Passenger from Princess Cruise Ship

Coast Guard Medevacs Sick Cruise Passengers

 

Photo credit  U.S. Coast Guard via 10News.com

U.S. Coast Guard Medivacs Passenger From HAL Cruise Ship

Medivac defintion: "Air transport of persons to a place where they can receive medical or surgical care; medical evacuation."

"Medivac" is a word that you hope the cruise ship doctor has heard before if you become seriously ill or injured during a cruise.  As I have mentioned in prior blogs, a cruise ship is the last place you want to be if you have a life threatening situation with your health.  Elderly passengers are particularly vulnerable when they have to rely on the medical skill and experience of ship doctor trained outside of the U.S.   

Over one-half of the passengers who seek medical treatment during cruises are over age 65.  Many passengers have pre-existing medical conditions including heart conditions.  Elderly passengers are at risk for complications on cruise ships with noro-virus and are then at the mercy of the ship doctors. 

Luckily for passengers on cruise ships near U.S. ports, the U.S. Coast Guard can come to the rescue.  U.S. citizens don't appreciate just how fortunate they are when a U.S. Coast helicopter arrives on the scene and saves the day.  Sometimes we hear of the Canadian Coast Guard rescuing Americans, like here.

Here we have a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Astoria pulling an injured passenger from the deck of the Volendam cruise ship operated by Holland American Line. 

The passenger apparently sustained head and back injuries in a fall as the cruise ship was headed from Seattle to Hawaii.  Luckily for him, the ship was still a hundred miles from Oregon. Thanks to the Coast Guard, the cruise passenger was taken to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland for medical treatment.

 

 

Credit:

Video - U.S. Coast Guard (via NWCN.com / Washington News)
  

Passenger Jumps From Celebrity's Solstice Cruise Ship

Professor Ross Klein's Cruise Junkie web site contains an account of a passenger jumping overboard from Celebrity Solstice last Friday:

From a reader:  The story on the cruise that I was on goes like this:  On early Friday morning around 1:30 am a person fell overboard from the 5th floor.  It took them about an hour to locate and rescue the person who was alive (amazing).  He was fighting and very belligerent when he was rescued.  They put the person in handcuffs and he was taking off the ship in the next port of sail Celebrity Solstice Passenger OverBoard Rescuewhich was Roatan Honduras.  The gentleman of approximately 65 years of age had an argument with his wife at an 80's party being held in the Sky Lounge near the bow.  At about 1:30 am on deck 5 starboard he removed most of his clothing and dove off the deck.  Fast acting crew members threw a flashing buoy overboard immediately to mark his location and the man-overboard call was made. 

The Captain was summoned and many of us heard the code "Oscar, Oscar" Apparently 2-zodiacs were launched the second after some issues with the first .... of this I am not certain.  Upon reaching the very lucking gentleman he did not wish to be rescued and when pulled on board the zodiac became belligerent and hence was cuffed.  We were told he was removed from the ship in Roatan.  Yesterday in the afternoon, on our last day at sea, the Captain came on the loudspeaker and thanked his hard working crew for their efforts for the rescue. 

Last November, a passenger disappeared from this cruise ship.  You can read about the prior incident:  Passenger Reported Overboard from Celebrity's Solstice Cruise Ship

Passenger With Meningococcal Disease Rescued From P&O Cruises' Pacific Sun Cruise Ship

A "Careflight Rescue" helicopter winched a 48 year-old passenger with a suspected case of the potentially fatal meningococcal disease from a cruise ship off the south-east  coast of Australia. 

P&O Cruises Pacific Sun Cruise ShipSeveral news have reported the incident; however, no one disclosed the name of the cruise ship or cruise line.  The passenger was taken to a hospital in Australia.

ABC News in Australia has finally identified that the passenger was rescued from the Pacific Sun cruise ship (web cam photo left).  The news station reports that the ship is traveling from Sydney to New Caledonia. 

The Pacifc Sun is operated by P&O Cruises in Australia.  Information about P&O Cruises and the Pacific Sun can be read here.

It is not uncommon for the press to try and avoid publishing the name of the cruise line or cruise ship in cases like this.
 

Photograph Credit:  P&O Cruises Pacific Sun webcam

Helicopter Medevacs Passenger from Princess Cruise Ship

Heart attacks on cruise ships are one of the leading causes of passenger deaths.  The U.S. and the Canadian Coast Guards do a remarkable job rescuing passengers from cruise ships, far distances from the mainland.

The video below show the rescue by the Canadian Coast Guard of a 78 year old passenger who suffered a heart attack and was in critical conditions. The cruise ship, the Sea Princess, was 100 miles from Vancouver Island.   

  

  

 

Credit:           /A\ News Vancouver Island