Coast Guard airlifts pregnant passenger from Disney Cruise Line ship

Disney Fantasy with a Coast Guard helicopter flying nearby.

The U.S. Coast Guard came to the aid of a pregnant passenger on board the Disney Fantasy on Monday, airlifting her from the ship in the middle of the Atlantic and taking her to Puerto Rico about 200 miles away.

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The 35-year-old woman had health issues that needed more medical care than what was available on the ship, so an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter was flown from the Coast Guard Air Station Miami to meet with the ship.

Using a rescue basket and litter, the woman and the ship’s doctor were hoisted to the helicopter, which transported them to the Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The woman was then taken to Centro Medico Hospital for treatment.

The Coast Guard did not say what the medical emergency was that necessitated her MEDEVAC.

“Our crew was able to quickly, safely, and efficiently execute a long-range MEDEVAC for the patient to receive the higher level of care she required,” Lt. Cmdr. Todd Stephens said in a news release. “This case demonstrates the value of good crew resource management and the capabilities of our Jayhawk helicopter.”

“We are glad everything came together to help this passenger,” Ensign Michael Riccio, the incident’s operations unit leader said. “The competency displayed by the Disney Fantasy crew and the Coast Guard personnel and units involved made all the difference.”

Disney Cruise Lines allows pregnant women to sail on the ships but only until the 24th week of pregnancy. If the passenger enters their 24th week while on the cruise, they “will be refused passage due to safety concerns,” according to Disney Cruise Line’s website.

A doctor’s note is not enough to allow someone to sail past the during or past the 24-week mark, the cruise line said on its website.

The ship does have medical facilities onboard and a doctor and nurse are on call 24/7 during a voyage.

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