Coast Guard, Navy Rescue Cruise Ship Passenger off Kaneohe Bay

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew takes off at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Aug. 25, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Matthew West)
A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew takes off at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, Aug. 25, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Matthew West)

The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy medevaced an 83-year-old male Canadian passenger from a cruise ship about 150 miles north of Kaneohe Bay on Sunday.

The man, a Canadian passenger aboard the cruise ship Emerald Princess, was suffering from symptoms of a stroke.

After Joint Rescue Coordination Center watchstanders received the call at 9 a.m., the Navy deployed an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter crew from Kaneohe Bay. The Seahawk crew arrived on the scene at 3:15 p.m., hoisted the passenger and transported him to emergency services at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu.

A Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew flew cover to provide support.

"After consultation with the duty flight surgeon it was determined expediency was vital," said Petty Officer 1st Class James Fangman in a news release. "In this case, we were able to call on HSM-37 to conduct the rescue with their MH-60 which has a greater range than our helicopter allowing for a faster transfer to a higher level of medical care. Our partnership with the Navy saves lives and is vital to those on the water in this region."

Watchstanders worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure clearance for the foreign passenger so he could be received in Hawaii.

Weather at the time of the initial distress call included winds of 15 miles per hour and seven-foot-high waves.

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