The Coast Guard airlifted an 89-year-old woman from Oceania Cruises’ Insignia Saturday evening, the CT Post reports. At the time the ship was 80 miles southeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina.
According to The Carteret County News-Times, the woman was experiencing symptoms characteristic of a heart attack. The captain of the Insignia notified Coast Guard authorities in Portsmouth, and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, NC, arriving at the ship at approximately 6:15 p.m. The helicopter crew then hoisted the woman from the ship and flew her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA, accompanied by the cruise ship’s nurse. The woman arrived at the hospital at approximately 8 p.m.
“The cooperation between the crew of the Insignia and our watchstanders ensured that the Coast Guard was informed of a life-threatening situation aboard,” Lt. j.g. Dan Dunn, watchstander at the 5th District Command Center, told CBS North Carolina. “The crew helped the aircrew transport this woman to the appropriate medical facility in a timely manner.”
The Insignia is a 700-passenger luxury cruise ship from Oceania Cruises. It most recently underwent a dry dock in 2014. The $50 million, two-year project added many of the interior design elements from the newer Marina and Riviera to the ship, adding new furnishings and décor to all public rooms, suites and staterooms. Insignia also added the Baristas coffee bar, a cook-to-order grill at Terrace Café, and a new outdoor recreation area on the Sports Deck.