A passenger onboard a Holland America Line cruise ship was evacuated by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Saturday morning after suffering a medical emergency while on the vessel. An RCAF Search and Rescue helicopter arrived to help the passenger roughly 30 km off Brooks Peninsula, northwest of Vancouver Island.
After Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria received a call for help from the Oosterdam cruise ship just before 8 a.m., a Cormorant helicopter left its base at 19 Wing, Comox to airlift the sick passenger to the nearest hospital. The rescue crew promptly arrived over the ship at approximately 8:30 that morning.
The emergency crew was met with strong winds of almost 75 km per hour once it neared the area, which forced the helicopter to resort to hoisting the ill passenger off the ship. The helicopter had to fly backwards in order to compensate for the turbulence, but managed to lower two Search and Rescue Technicians from a height of 140 feet to the deck in order to reach the passenger. The patient was then placed into a rescue basket and raised up to the helicopter. The crew then rushed the passenger to Victoria General Hospital, where he was determined to be in stable condition.