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Coast Guard copter hoists patient from cruise ship 225 miles out to sea

By PAULINE REPARD | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: January 2, 2020

SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted a possible stroke victim from a cruise ship off the Mexican coast and flew her to a San Diego hospital Wednesday, officials said.

The 68-year-old woman was reported in stable condition when she reached the hospital, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

The crew of the Viking Sun contacted the Coast Guard's operations center in San Diego about 8:20 a.m., asking for assistance with a passenger displaying stroke symptoms, according to the release.

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A C-17 Spartan transport plane in Sacramento and a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter in San Diego headed for the ship located about 225 miles south of San Diego. The helicopter crew brought along a Special Tactics and Rescue paramedic from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The Jayhawk crew lowered the paramedic onto the cruise ship to assess the patient and load her into a rescue basket. The woman was hoisted on board the helicopter, followed by the medic, and the crew flew to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla just after 12:40 p.m., the Coast Guard said.

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