Cruise ship passengers airlifted to Cordova

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak aircrew transport a cruise ship passenger from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to an awaiting Airlift Northwest Commercial Medevac crew in Cordova, Aug. 31. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Seth Craven.

Two passengers from separate cruise ships suffering life-threatening medical issues were airlifted by the Coast Guard to Cordova during the past week. They were transported on for advanced medical care.   

Both patients were transported by MH Jayhawk helicopter aircrews from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak.

The medevac request on Thursday, Aug. 29, came from the cruise ship Radiance of the Seas for a passenger reported to have suffered a heart attack. The 72-year-old mam and the ship’s nurse were taken to Cordova for a wing-to-wing transfer with Guardian Flight, which took the patient to Anchorage.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, The Coast Guard received a medevac request for an 80-year-old man reportedly experiencing stroke symptoms. The patient and the ship’s nurse delivered the man to an Airlift Northwest Commercial Medevac crew in Cordova, which transported the man to Anchorage for further care

Lt. Steven Podmore, an Air Station Kodiak pilot, noted that the Coast Guard’s partnership with medical flight agencies is critical in Alaska, not only to provide immediate higher level of care, but to free up the Coast Guard aircrew for their next mission.