Monday, August 10, 2009

Evacuation at Sea

While having breakfast this morning, the Captain announced that the ship
has changed course and we were heading toward the west coast of Britain
due to an medical emergency. We would be going to Castlebury or a
helicopter would come to the ship and evacuate a passenger who has a
medical emergency. Later in the morning the Captain announced that a
helicopter would meet the ship and take the passenger.

When an announcement was made that the helicopter was on its way I went
up to the Crow's Nest to see if I could see the helicopter. I was not
there for long when all passengers were asked to leave the Crow's Nest
and then to leave the 12th deck. Giving up to see the helicopter I went
down to the Casino and was playing a slot next to the window when I
heard the helicopter overhead. From my vantage point at the slot
machine I saw the RAF Rescue helicopter hover overhead and saw then
lower the basket. They first hoisted the passenger's luggage into the
helicopter and then the basket with the passenger. Then they were off
to the coast of England.

We have seen passengers taken off ships while in port by ambulance but
this was the first time we had seen a helicopter evacuation at sea. The
cruises that we take generally have an older crowd (we are 70 and are
among the young folks!) so it is not uncommon to have medical
emergencies. In fact we have been on cruises where passengers have
died. Today was a first.

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