US Coast Guard Medevacs Pregnant Woman from Disney Fantasy

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The United States Coast Guard recently successfully conducted a medevac operation for a 35-year-old pregnant American passenger aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship.

According to an April 16, 2024 press release from the United States Coast Guard, the incident occurred while the Disney Fantasy was sailing in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 260 nautical miles northwest of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The expecting mother experienced health complications that necessitated a higher level of medical care unavailable onboard the ship.

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The Disney Fantasy crew promptly contacted Coast Guard watchstanders in Sector San Juan, requesting urgent medical evacuation assistance. Coast Guard forces sprang into action, coordinating the medevac and dispatching an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Borinquen, along with an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft pre-deployed from Air Station Miami, to rendezvous with the cruise ship.


Upon reaching the Disney Fantasy, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer expertly transferred the patient and a cruise ship doctor onto the Jayhawk helicopter using a rescue basket and litter. The Coast Guard aircrew then swiftly transported the woman to Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. There, local Emergency Medical Service personnel assumed care and transported her to Centro Medico Hospital for the necessary medical attention.


Lieutenant Commander Todd Stephens, of the Coast Guard aircrew, commended his team’s performance, highlighting their “quick, safe, and efficient” execution of the long-range medevac, ensuring the patient received the critical care she needed. Ensign Michael Riccio, Coast Guard Sector San Juan operations unit leader, emphasized the collaborative effort. He credited the “competency displayed by the Disney Fantasy crew and the Coast Guard personnel and units involved” as the key factor in this successful medical evacuation.

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This incident exemplifies the Coast Guard’s vital role in maritime safety and emergency response. Their swiftness, expertise, and teamwork undoubtedly played a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of the pregnant passenger aboard the Disney Fantasy.


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Chris is a Pennsylvania native who escaped the cold and relocated to the Orlando area. Our resident Universal expert, Chris has been visiting the Universal Orlando Resort since the 1990s. Chris is a Universal and Walt Disney World Passholder, and can often be found exploring the parks taking in the sites (and finding new things to write about!).
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