Coast Guard conducts unusual rescue of two men from a cruise ship off of Virginia; Norwegian crewman died in Bermuda after lifeboat fell on four during drill

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew medevacs two men from a cruise ship 60 miles east of Wachapreague Inlet, Virginia, July 24, 2016. Both men were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina)

The Norwegian Dawn is a sister ship to the Gem. Shown here in port in Bermuda. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Norwegian Dawn is a sister ship to the Gem. Shown here in port in Bermuda. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard medevaced two cruise ship passengers off the Virginia coast on Sunday.

Watchstanders in the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Portsmouth received notification at about 2:13 a.m. that two male passengers had experienced medical complications aboard the 965-foot cruise ship Norwegian Gem about 75 miles northeast of Cape Henry.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a C-130 Hercules aircraft crew launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, at about 3:55 a.m.

The aircrews arrived on scene at the Norwegian Gem approximately 60 miles east of Wachapreague Inlet. The helicopter crew hoisted both men aboard by about 5:08 a.m.

Both men were flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, arriving at about 5:58 a.m.

“The cooperation among our watchstanders here in the Sector Hampton Roads command center, the crews from Air Station Elizabeth City and the cruise ship allowed these men to get off the ship and to the hospital as quickly as possible,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Michelle Medley, a Sector Hampton Roads watchstander for the case.

 

One crewman later died from his injuries.

From Royal Gazette
A 41-year-old crew member from the Norwegian Breakaway died yesterday after a lifeboat broke from its tethering and plunged into the water.

The Filipino was one of four ship staff rushed to the hospital after the accident, which happened during the cruise liner’s weekly safety training drill.

Among the rescuers were staff on board the tour boatAristocat, who towed the injured man to shore. According to a police spokesman, first responders went to Dockyard just before noon.

The deceased will not be named until his next of kin can be notified; the other crew were being treated last night.

Andrew Smith, captain of the Aristocat, recounted bringing his vessel around the cruise ship’s seaward side to find an overturned boat and a man floating in the water.

“They had one of their lifeboats out but could not maneuver it, which I could do with mine. One of my crew, James Baxter, jumped in to help him.”

The injured man was in back and leg pain, with several bones apparently broken.

Because of the risk of moving a person with possible spinal injuries, Mr Baxter remained supporting the man while the catamaran towed him to the dock of Calico Jack’s bar, where a board could be placed under his back by waiting paramedics.

More crew and a passenger helped getting the crew member on to land.

“He couldn’t talk much,” Mr Smith said. “It was a really unfortunate situation; I feel so sorry for those poor guys.

“We are all first-aid certified, and we’ve had to deal with situations before — it’s just something we do by instinct.”

Details of the accident were unclear: according to a Bermuda Maritime Operations spokesman, the lifeboat had been left hanging from one wire.

Ambulances from Port Royal responded as well as King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, and the incident is now being investigated. Offering condolences, acting tourism and transport minister Grant Gibbons said the Department of Maritime Administration as port state inspectors would work closely with Norwegian Cruise Line, along with the Department of Marine and Ports Services.

The Norwegian Breakaway had arrived from New York earlier yesterday morning. Carrying 4,300 passengers, the ship is due to return to the East Coast of the United States tomorrow. An NCL statement said the schedule was not expected to be affected, and that the ship’s medical team provided immediate care.

“The company is providing full support and care to the crew members involved and is working closely with the relevant authorities to investigate the incident,” the statement added.

Lifeboats like these fell on top of crewmembers of the Norwegian Gem, killing one man during a drill in Bermuda. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Lifeboats like these fell on top of crew members of the Norwegian Gem, killing one man during a drill in Bermuda. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard medevacked a 68-year-old man Friday from a sailboat 127 miles east of Virginia Beach.
A crewman aboard the 37-foot sailboat Bad Cat contacted Coast Guard 5th District Command Center watchstanders via a satellite phone at approximately 12:24 p.m. to report the captain of the vessel was suffering from a skin infection.
District watchstanders launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to assist.
The aircrews arrived on scene at approximately 2:15 p.m. The man was hoisted aboard the helicopter and transferred to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital personnel at approximately 3:10 p.m.

Norwegian Star docked at Royal Dockyard in Bermuda THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

Norwegian Star docked at Royal Dockyard in Bermuda THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo