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Two passengers evacuated from cruise ship near Cuba


Bj2615

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That is too bad. I hope they will be okay (and had insurance!).

Fortunately, the HAL ship was close enough to Florida to allow the Coast Guard to evacuate the persons quickly. Time is of the essence. Also, the quality of medical care is better in Florida than in Mexico or the Caribbean.

Last Nov, I was on RCCL's Enchantment of the Seas on our way to Belize when a late night (in room) announcement from the Captain advised us of a serious medical condition requiring the ship to return to Cozumel. This change of plans meant we could no longer go to Belize.

While there were many upset passengers (some chose this particular cruise soley for the Belize port stop), I was glad the cruise ship was committed to passenger care (Hey, they turned that ship around for the benefit of ONE person). I was also thankful I could spend that day on our balcony so we did not have to listen to the angry people (my DH literally heard yelling when he walked by the Guest Relations Desk).

The Captain said the "Belize" day would be a sea day and he would try to find us a new port to spend our previously scheduled sea day at. So instead of Belize, we got to spend a day visiting Coco Cay - RCCL's private island in the Bahamas. Not nearly as cool as Belize, but it was a fun day.

I spoke with a manager in the buffet about it. You could tell they were dealing with quite a few unhappy passengers... I found out it was a crew member who apparently had a heart attack and that he was doing better.

Certainly, if it were a family member of mine, I would be greatful for the Cruiseline's decision to reverse course....

When cruising, you just have to go with the flow.

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We had a similar situation on our recent Zuiderdam cruise but with a different passenger response. After searching for a passenger for 3 hours the captain announced that we were turning the ship around to search the water. I was in the Thermal Suite while the search was underway, and they were searching EVERY nook and cranny before turning around. Thankfully the passenger was found onboard and we reversed course and continued our voyage to Grand Turk. I did not hear one passenger complain about the fact that they might miss a port day, everyone was concerned about the missing passenger and his family. It was comforting to know that one passenger's safety was so very important. Everyone realized that if the passenger had been in the water for 3+ hours it would be very difficult to find him but everyone seemed to totally support the captain's decision.

 

Thank goodness you had a balcony to retreat to when other passengers were behaving so horribly!!

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I also hope they're okay and had evacuation insurance. Really sad.

 

Truly very sad. We who are elderly do think about the possibility of becoming ill while on a cruise and perhaps even "over-insure." But would the U S Coast Guard really send them a bill?

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Truly very sad. We who are elderly do think about the possibility of becoming ill while on a cruise and perhaps even "over-insure." But would the U S Coast Guard really send them a bill?

 

No bill from the coast guard...

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Truly very sad. We who are elderly do think about the possibility of becoming ill while on a cruise and perhaps even "over-insure." But would the U S Coast Guard really send them a bill?

 

...hopefully, you, nor the rest of us here, will ever have the need to find out the answer to that question.

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We were on this cruise and the captain said both people were doing fine. We also had a fire on this cruise. Had the 7 short and 1 long alarm go off about 11:30 and they had he fire out and the all okay in about 30 minutes. It was an incinerator fire.

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Truly very sad. We who are elderly do think about the possibility of becoming ill while on a cruise and perhaps even "over-insure." But would the U S Coast Guard really send them a bill?

 

Trooper - these folks could still file a claim for trip interruption. The article states the gentleman received medical services at the naval hospital in Gitmo so he might have to pay for that since it was out of the country. Trip insurance might reimburse for it.

 

My Qs - I wonder if these 2 were a couple, travelling together? I mean it's curious that the 2 would become so seriously ill at the same exact time.

 

And how do they get all of their belongings back? I mean if they are together, who packs up their stuff & returns it to them?

 

I wish them well.

 

Again, just practical considerations. And curiosity on my part.

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I was also thankful I could spend that day on our balcony so we did not have to listen to the angry people (my DH literally heard yelling when he walked by the Guest Relations Desk).

 

These pax need to signed up for the shore excursion -- Helicopter flight and Deep Sea Diving. No experience or equiptment necessary! Guaranteed to be an experience of a "lifetime." It appears very

popular as we have NEVER received a negative comment, not even one, from anyone who took this excursion.:D

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Trooper - these folks could still file a claim for trip interruption. The article states the gentleman received medical services at the naval hospital in Gitmo so he might have to pay for that since it was out of the country. Trip insurance might reimburse for it.

 

My Qs - I wonder if these 2 were a couple, travelling together? I mean it's curious that the 2 would become so seriously ill at the same exact time.

 

And how do they get all of their belongings back? I mean if they are together, who packs up their stuff & returns it to them?

 

I wish them well.

 

Again, just practical considerations. And curiosity on my part.

 

They were not related. And they didn't necessarily get ill at "the exact same time."

In the first announcement, the captain said both people were ill and needed additional medical attention. He said one was sicker than the other, and that person would be transported first, that evening. The second person would be transported the next morning, as that person's condition was not as serious.

However, that changed over the course of the evening, as did the time of the rendezvous with the helicopter. Both ill pax were evacuated at the same time.

Passengers were being told to stay off decks 10 and 11. They were also told not to use flash photography, as it would interfere with the rescue efforts.

I believe the elevators were shut down for a period of time during this.

I went up to the Promenade deck and could see the helicopter all the way forward of the Crow's Nest area -- hard to determine just where, in the darkness.

 

The evacuation was shown on Channel 44 and also on the screen in the Queen's Lounge, to those gathered there for a movie.

The captain was very professional in his handling of the matter, and he did not divulge any personal information on the patients or their specific medical issues.

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We were on this cruise and the captain said both people were doing fine. We also had a fire on this cruise. Had the 7 short and 1 long alarm go off about 11:30 and they had he fire out and the all okay in about 30 minutes. It was an incinerator fire.

 

 

Sure it was 7 short one long? More likely short-long, short-long, short-long: the fire alarm signal. But hey, as long as they put the fire out!

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It sounds funny to hear that a fire in an incinerator is a problem. Isn't that what is supposed to happen in an incinerator? :confused:

 

I'm sure you meant it as a joke, but it can be serious. Ask any one who's had a chimney fire in their fireplace.

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Sunshine91, I always wonder how these people do get their luggage packed and their belongs back.

 

On another note, the husband reported that his wife was resting comfortably in a Miami hospital. Why wasn't he airlifted with her?

 

If I were sick enough to be taken by helicopter to a hospital I would want next of kin to be with me in case important medical decisions had to be made.

 

Does anyone know if next of kin are evacuated with the sick passenger?

 

I have been looking into the medjet policy that takes you to a hospital of your choice and it also takes your traveling companion with you.

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Sunshine91, I always wonder how these people do get their luggage packed and their belongs back.

 

On another note, the husband reported that his wife was resting comfortably in a Miami hospital. Why wasn't he airlifted with her?

 

If I were sick enough to be taken by helicopter to a hospital I would want next of kin to be with me in case important medical decisions had to be made.

 

Does anyone know if next of kin are evacuated with the sick passenger?

 

I have been looking into the medjet policy that takes you to a hospital of your choice and it also takes your traveling companion with you.

 

the families were not given the option of going with. As fruitcake previously stated, for a while they were not even going to remove both sick passengers at the same time. I've read before where the next of kin have to get off at the next port and meet up with the patient--since our next port was Ft. Lauderdale the spouses/family had to stay on board until then.

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If I were sick enough to be taken by helicopter to a hospital I would want next of kin to be with me in case important medical decisions had to be made.

 

Most of the time, there is not enough room in the helicopter for anyone else to go along. Sometimes exceptions will be made with small children.

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Sunshine91, I always wonder how these people do get their luggage packed and their belongs back.

 

On another note, the husband reported that his wife was resting comfortably in a Miami hospital. Why wasn't he airlifted with her?

 

If I were sick enough to be taken by helicopter to a hospital I would want next of kin to be with me in case important medical decisions had to be made.

 

Does anyone know if next of kin are evacuated with the sick passenger?

 

I have been looking into the medjet policy that takes you to a hospital of your choice and it also takes your traveling companion with you.

 

If it's a helo medevac as described here (via USCG, USN and/or USAF aircraft) no, not usually. If the ship is in port, then yes, the family can elect to go with the patient. There's not a heck of a lot of room in the cabin of helicopters like the Coast Guard Dolphin and there is already a (usual) crew of four onboard.

 

Maybe Manbehindthecurtain and/or Sungodess can add to this but I've heard that the personal belongings of pax no longer on the ship (for whatever reason) get packed up by staff and send to the pax' home address.

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If it's a helo medevac as described here (via USCG, USN and/or USAF aircraft) no, not usually. If the ship is in port, then yes, the family can elect to go with the patient. There's not a heck of a lot of room in the cabin of helicopters like the Coast Guard Dolphin and there is already a (usual) crew of four onboard.

 

Maybe Manbehindthecurtain and/or Sungodess can add to this but I've heard that the personal belongings of pax no longer on the ship (for whatever reason) get packed up by staff and send to the pax' home address.

 

Correct, in most cases only the patient will be taken off the ship via helicopter. Relatives will get off in the next port.

Personal belongings will be sent to home address or another location if requested.

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One more tidbit; an aerial medevac is not without risk to the aircraft's crew especially when you take into account inclement weather, wind velocity, swells, a moving ship, obstructions in and around the ship itself, you name it. There's a reason, the ship deploys a fire/crash crew and will enforce no passengers on the upper decks while the rescue is in progress.

Those helo crews have a lot of skill from the aircraft commander/pilot having to keep his a/c in a perfect hover to the rescue swimmer coming onboard (never a day at the beach) and having to secure the patient/litter to the hoist cable, to the hoist operator inside the helo guiding him (the rescue swimmer) onboard while giving constant updates to the pilots, a lot of teamwork goes on. The ship's crew is heavily involved in the operation also from the captain attempting to give the helo crew as smooth a platform to work with, to the medical staff, to the deck personnel - my hat's off to all of these brave men and women everytime a rescue/medevac at sea takes place!

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