State police helicopter performs aerial hoist of passenger aboard cruise ship in Southern Maryland

(CHESAPEAKE BAY, Md.) – A Maryland State Police helicopter crew helped rescue a sick passenger off of a cruise ship Thursday evening.

Shortly after 9:45 p.m., the United States Coast Guard – Sector Baltimore was notified by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line that they had a passenger requiring immediate medical evacuation on its Grandeur of the Seas ship.  The Coast Guard requested the assistance of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command to perform an aerial extraction from the ship in order to provide medical care to one of their passengers and transport them to the nearest hospital.  The Grandeur of the Sea was located in the Chesapeake Bay approximately 10 miles southwest of Tangier Island and was traveling at approximately 6 knots.

Trooper 7, the Command’s aircraft based in Saint Mary’s County Maryland, was immediately dispatched. Once the aircraft arrived over the ship, the aircrew communicated with the crew of The Grandeur of the Seas who advised they were preparing the upper deck port side to use as the hoisting area.

The crew from Trooper 7 prepared to conduct the challenging hoist using the advanced technology aboard the AW-139 aircraft.  While working with the crew of The Grandeur of the Sea, the flight crew deployed the trooper/rescue technician to assess the patient and determine what resource were needed. An assessment was completed and it was determine the patient needed to be evacuated immediately with a priority transport.

The patient was safely hoisted off the ship and secured in the aircraft, at which time the medical crew transitioned to medevac mode. The patient was in critical/life-threatening condition. Advanced pre-hospital emergency care was initiated as the aircraft departed the scene for transport to MedSTAR Southern Maryland Hospital.

The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has served Maryland citizens since 1970, and operates a fleet of ten (10) AW-139 helicopters from seven (7) bases throughout Maryland on a 24/7/365 basis.  Missions include medevac, law enforcement, search & rescue, homeland security, and disaster assessment.  The success of rescues performed by the Aviation Command depends a great deal on the cooperative effort of local fire, rescue, EMS, law enforcement agencies, and our partners at the United States Coast Guard.

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