HONOLULU -- A Coast Guard aircrew flew approximately 400 miles to airdrop 10 critical units of blood to a cruise ship northeast of the Oahu, Tuesday.
Personnel aboard the cruise ship Carnival Miracle contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu at 4:21 p.m., Sunday regarding medical assistance for an ailing passenger.
The ship had originally departed Vancouver, British Columbia en route to its next port of call in Nawiliwili, Kauai.
The ship's onboard doctor was treating the 76-year-old man for internal bleeding. A Coast Guard flight surgeon was consulted and recommended a 12-hour communications schedule with the cruise ship. If the man's condition worsened, the air station would conduct an airdrop of blood.
Due to the worsening state of the man's condition, an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point was launched at 4:07 a.m..
The aircrew successfully dropped the blood received from Tripler Army Medical Center via parachute to medical personnel aboard the Carnival Miracle.
The cruise ship will maintain communication with the Coast Guard until its scheduled arrival in Nawiliwili, Wednesday.
Coast Guard aircraft are equipped to drop lifesaving equipment to individuals in distress. Life rafts, radios, emergency rations and medical supplies are the most common, but flexibility in operations is necessary in order to save lives at sea.