USCG Conducts Long-Range Medevac from Remote Pacific Island

File image

By The Maritime Executive 01-20-2020 08:47:00

On Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard provided a long-range medevac for a seafarer from the cruise ship Azamara Journey. The crewmember fell ill while the Journey was transiting from Maui to Bora Bora, and the USCG arranged to bring him from the remote island of Kirimati (Christmas Island) back to Hawaii for treatment. 

At 1840 hours on Friday, Coast Guard watchstanders at JRCC Honolulu received a message from the master and ship's doctor of the Azamara Journey. A crewmember had been suffering from abdominal pain since Monday, and his condition had deteriorated despite antibiotic treatment. The ship's doctor and the Coast Guard's duty flight surgeon agreed that the crew member required a higher level of medical care than was available on ship, and as soon as possible. 

At the time of the request for assistance, the vessel was about 150 miles off Christmas Island, a large coral atoll about 1,100 nm south of Hawaii. The Azamara Journey diverted toward the island while JRCC Honolulu watchstanders deployed an HC-130J long-range SAR aircraft to conduct the medevac. 

Upon the ship's arrival at Christmas Island, the mariner was transported to the plane and flown to Hawaii for treatment. While in flight, he was cared for by the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management's Disaster Medical Team (Kalawao Rescue).

"Our aircrews often perform medical transportation flights between islands in the Pacific," said PO1 Michael Bowen, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu watchstander. "We have a good relationship with our partners from the Hawaii medical field and often work together to ensure patients in the Pacific reach the level of care they require."