THIS is the dramatic moment a seriously ill holidaymaker had to be airlifted off a cruise ship by a helicopter pushed to its limits 75 miles from land.
The Coast Guard revealed the rescue helicopter “stretched” its range to reach the stricken passenger on board the Carnival Pride.
The moment the sick passenger is airlifted off the deck of the cruise ship[/caption]
The rescue helicopter was pushed to its limit during the nail-biting operation[/caption]
Concerned crew first raised the alarm after the 34-year-old fell sick when the luxury ship was about 230 miles north of San Juan.
However, that was way too far out to sea for the medevac chopper’s fuel range so the ship’s captain was told to head much closer to shore.
Eventually the rescue helicopter was able to reach the passenger ship but only by pushing its fuel tanks to the absolute limit.
Gripping footage shows the stretchered man being slowly hauled up to the emergency helicopter from the deck of the still moving vessel.
The man was eventually rescued while 75 miles out to sea[/caption]
Once on dry land the man was taken to a hospital in San Juan[/caption]
“This case really stretched the range of our MH-65 helicopter,” said Katy Caraway, an Air Station Borinquen helicopter pilot.
“This medevac’s success was due to the combination of our crew’s training and efficiency with Carnival Pride’s professional conduct throughout the operation.”
The sick passenger was successfully transported to a hospital that was more than 200 miles away from his original location.
It’s reported he was suffering from medical complications that “required further assistance” when the alert was sparked.
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According to Carnival Cruise’s website the 12-deck Pride departs from Tampa, Florida and Baltimore, Maryland for seven day round trip to the Bahamas.
Launched in 2002, Carnival Pride is the second of four Spirit-class Carnival ships, together with Carnival Miracle, Spirit and Legend.
The cruise company has yet to comment on the nail-biting incident which happened last week.