USCG Medevacs Man with Severe Lacerations from Cruise Ship

Courtesy USCG

Published Mar 20, 2020 10:35 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a man with severe laceration injuries from a cruise ship about 17 nm to the west of St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders received a medevac request after 1400 hours from medical personnel aboard the ship, who reported that a 31-year-old Ukrainian national had lacerations to his arm and torso. 

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew responded to the call and safely transported the man to Tampa General Hospital. A medic from the ship also escorted the man on the flight. 

Local media have identified the vessel as the Brilliance of the Seas, which was located at an anchorage off St. Petersburg Thursday with several other cruise ships, according to bystander video.

"From the sector watchstanders to my flight mechanic, rescue swimmer, and co-pilot who conducted the hoist, everyone worked incredibly efficiently and with the safety of the patient and our crew in mind,” said Lt. Tyler Dewechter, helicopter pilot for the case. “I am thankful for a positive result and hopeful for a quick return to health for the individual who suffered a very severe injury today."

The Coast Guard did not identify the cause of the injury or the individual's role on board the vessel. Due to the industry-wide voluntary pause in operations, there are no passengers on board CLIA-member cruise vessels homeported in North America, except for those ships which are completing current voyages. A spokesperson for Port Tampa Bay confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that there are no passengers on board the cruise ships anchored off St. Petersburg.