A Royal Caribbean passenger was airlifted from the Anthem of the Seas Sunday after the ship's captain called in a request to the U.S. Coast Guard station at Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Petty officer Edward Wargo confirmed to USA TODAY that a helicopter airlifted an elderly male patient along with his wife and the ship's doctor 60 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras on Sunday afternoon.
A Coast Guard press release said the man, who was suffering from internal bleeding, was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville aboard a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter.
According to CruiseMapper.com, Anthem of the Seas, which departed Saturday from Brooklyn, New York, is currently on its way to Port Canaveral in Orlando, Florida. It will stop at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private Bahamian island, and Nassau later this week before returning to the New York area on Saturday.
Royal Caribbean, which did not immediately respond to USA TODAY's request for comment, offers shipboard medical facilities, though it says the extent of services varies by vessel.
"Depending on the size of the ship and number of passengers and crew members, each RCL ship has one to three doctors and three to five nurses, available to passengers and crew members 24 hours a day, seven days a week," its website says, noting its ships are staffed and equipped to meet the standards of the American College of Emergency Physicians Cruise Ship & Maritime Medicine Section. (The ACEP is the organization that board-certifies emergency physicians.)
It goes on to add, "Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also requires all doctors and nurses to maintain Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training. In responding to medical emergencies, our goal is to first stabilize emergency patients and, where indicated, evacuate the patient to an appropriately equipped and staffed shore side medical facility as soon as (is) practical."