Ailing man evacuated from cruise ship scheduled to call on St. Thomas today


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A Coast Guard helicopter crew evacuated an ailing Norwegian Getaway cruise ship passenger Monday night, approximately 80 nautical miles north of San Juan Harbor, Puerto Rico.

The ship is scheduled to make a port call on St. Thomas today at the West Indian Co. dock.

The crew of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter out of the Coast Guard's Air Station Borinquen rescued a 67-year-old man who had suffered a suspected heart attack during the Norwegian Getaway's transit from Miami to Saint Maarten, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan Command Center watchstanders received a request for assistance from the crew of the Norwegian Getaway about 8 p.m. Monday and dispatched the helicopter, according to the Coast Guard. The helicopter and air crew arrived on the scene and deployed their rescue swimmer to the cruise ship to assess the condition of the patient, a U.S. citizen, who was placed in the helicopter's rescue basket and hoisted aboard the aircraft.

The helicopter crew transferred the man to awaiting emergency medical services personnel at the Isla Grande Airport in San Juan for transport to a local hospital to receive specialized medical care.

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