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Coast Guard medevac crewmember of Azamara Journey cruise from Kiribati to Hawaii

Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point.
Archive image: a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point successfully evacuated four Fish and Wildlife personnel off Johnston Atoll, Oct. 1, 2018. The four people evacuated are members of a field biology crew working out of a year-round field camp on the refuge.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Griffin.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard successfully a medevac mission (medical transfer) of a 46-year-old mariner, cruise Azamara Journey crewmember, from Christmas Island to Hawaii, Saturday, after suffering severe abdominal pain.

An Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrew transported the crew member to Oahu, where he was brought by ambulance to Queen’s Medical Center. While in flight, he was cared for by the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management’s Disaster Medical Team personnel (Kalawao Rescue).

«Our aircrews often perform medical transportation flights between islands in the Pacific,» said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Bowen, a Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu watchstander. «We have a good relationship with our partners from the Hawaii medical field and often work together to ensure patients in the Pacific reach the level of care they require.»

At 6:40 p.m., Friday, JRCC Honolulu watchstanders received a report from the master and ship’s doctor of the 594-foot Azamara Journey regarding the situation. The vessel was 149 miles off Christmas Island, and a crew member was suffering from abdominal pain since Monday. His condition deteriorated despite antibiotic treatment.

The ship’s doctor and the Coast Guard’s duty flight surgeon agreed the crew member required a higher level of medical care than was available on ship as soon as possible. 

The Azamara Journey diverted toward Christmas Island while JRCC Honolulu watchstanders deployed the HC-130 Hercules aircrew to conduct the medevac. Upon the ship’s arrival at Christmas Island, the mariner was transported to the awaiting Hercules and flown to Hawaii.

HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point.
Archive image: an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, Oahu, Hawaii, sits on the tarmac at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, July 31, 2017. Crewmembers from Air Station Barbers Point traveled to Kwajalein while enroute to the Solomon Islands to participate in the 75th anniversary of the Battle at Guadalcanal.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle.

The Malta-flagged cruise ship is on a voyage from Maui, Hawaii, to Bora Bora, French Polynesia. 

The Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management’s Disaster Medical Team (Kalawao Rescue) is a deployable, all-hazards disaster medical response and recovery team which is part of the medical surge capability within the HPP or Hospital Preparedness Program. All team members are volunteer medical professionals.


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