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Oahu-based Coast Guard crew drops supplies to far-flung cruise ship

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:39 a.m. HST, Oct 8, 2013

An Oahu-based Coast Guard aircrew flew about 1,036 miles on Sunday to airdrop blood and medical supplies to a cruise ship sailing northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.

Personnel aboard the cruise ship Oosterdam contacted Honolulu's Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu at about 4 a.m. to request medical assistance for a passenger -- a 70-year-old man suffering from internal bleeding. A Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended an airdrop of blood, platelets and transfusion equipment.

At about 11:30 a.m., a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Air Station Barbers Point dropped -- by way of parachute -- six units of blood, one pack of platelets and two transfusion kits from Tripler Army Medical Center and the Blood Bank of Hawaii to medical personnel aboard the Oosterdam.

The cruise ship is expected to arrive in Lahaina, Maui tomorrow.

Coast Guard aircraft are equipped to drop lifesaving equipment to individuals in distress. Life rafts, radios, emergency rations and medical supplies are the most common, but flexibility in operations is necessary in order to save lives at sea. For more information, contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

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