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Disney Cruise Line passenger rescued by US Coast Guard after emergency off Puerto Rico

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Drone footage captured the moment a pregnant woman was airlifted from a Disney cruise ship by the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday.

A rescuer could be seen rappelling down from an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter onto the Disney Fantasy, floating in the Atlantic Ocean northwest of Puerto Rico, in video shared by the Coast Guard. 

The 35-year-old woman was strapped to a gurney and reeled into the helicopter in the heart-pounding moment. The agency said the woman “required a higher level of medical care” than what on board doctors could provide in the ship’s medical bay. 

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A Coast Guard rescue swimmer was lowered onto the deck of the Disney Fantasy to transport a pregnant 35-year-old woman to a hospital onshore in Puerto Rico. (U.S. Coast Guard)

“Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan received a communication from the Disney Fantasy Monday morning requesting medevac assistance as the cruise ship was transiting 260 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico,” the agency wrote in a press release.

“Once on scene, the Coast Guard Jayhawk aircrew deployed their rescue swimmer aboard the cruise ship, who prepared a rescue basket and litter to safely hoist the patient and cruise ship doctor aboard the aircraft,” the Coast Guard said.

An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft was also flown in from Air Station Miami for the rescue. 

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US coast guard team tends to pregnant woman on cruise deck

The woman was strapped to a gurney and clipped to a rope, surrounded by a medical team and what appeared to be concerned family members looking on. (U.S. Coast Guard)

The passenger was airlifted to Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. From there, the agency said, she was whisked to Centro Medico Hospital. 

“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 statement. “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,” said Ensign Michael Riccio, Coast Guard Sector San Juan operations unit leader for the case. “The competency displayed by the Disney Fantasy crew and the Coast Guard personnel and units involved made all the difference.”

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pregnant woman on gurney airlifted into helicopter

The woman was seen dangling from the Jaywalker helicopter on her gurney as she was reeled into the aircraft. (U.S. Coast Guard)

The cruise had launched two days earlier from Port Canaveral, Florida, according to Cruise Hive.

The ship is currently sailing a seven-night itinerary in the Eastern Caribbean, visiting Tortola on Tuesday, and is scheduled to dock in St. Thomas on Wednesday and will visit Disney’s private island Castaway Cay before returning to port, Cruise Hive reported.

Disney Cruise Line did not immediately return a request for comment. 

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