Ailing woman airlifted from cruise ship off NC coast in daring nighttime flight

North Carolina news

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A woman suffering from internal bleeding was airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard from a cruise ship more than 200 miles off the North Carolina coast Friday night.

Officials aboard the Royal Caribbean Anthem Of The Seas contacted the Coast Guard to ask for a medical evacuation from the ship, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

An ailing woman needed care at a hospital, officials said.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an HC-130 Hercules flew about 231 miles to the cruise ship from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

The rescue helicopter crew hoisted the woman and a family member aboard while the Hercules crew provided aerial coverage, the news release said.

The helicopter then flew to New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington.

“Launching far offshore and at night can be complex and challenging,” Chief Petty Officer Brian Gainey, operations unit watchstander at the Fifth District command center, said in the news release.

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