Coast Guard airlifts woman from luxury cruise liner off NC coast

The Insignia ship in a photo from the press release section of the Oceania Cruises website.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY-TV) – An 89-year- old woman on board a luxury cruise ship Insignia had to be airlifted to a mainland hospital by the Coast Guard Saturday evening.

A pool deck area on an Oceania ship. Photo from the press release section of the Oceania Cruises website.

U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic reports the captain of the cruise ship Insignia contacted the 5th District Coast Guard Command Center in Portsmouth around 4:20 p.m. Saturday, notifying them that a  woman on board was experiencing symptoms characteristic of a heart-attack.

The Insignia ship, which underwent a $50 million two-year dry dock refurbishment in 2014, is part of Oceania Cruises, according to the cruise line website.

Oceania Cruises describes itself as having “intimate and luxurious ships” and the six-ship fleet “appeals to discerning, sophisticated travelers in search of world-class cuisine, unparalleled personal service, a luxurious onboard ambiance and enriching destination experiences.”

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, launched and arrived on scene at approximately 6:15 p.m.

The cruise ship was located 80 miles southeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina.


The helicopter crew hoisted the woman from the cruise ship and transported her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The cruise ship’s nurse was also hoisted aboard the helicopter to accompany the patient to the hospital. They arrived at the hospital at approximately 8 p.m.

“The cooperation between the crew of the Insignia and our watchstanders ensured that the Coast Guard was informed of a life-threatening situation aboard. “The crew helped the aircrew transport this woman to the appropriate medical facility in a timely manner,” said Lt. j.g. Dan Dunn, watchstander at the 5th District Command Center.

— CBS North Carolina contributed to this report

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