Sunday, May 7, 2017

Medical Evacuation

It was a five-day sail from French Polynesia to Hawaii, and coincidently a five-day sail from Hawaii to Los Angles.

I was okay with that and since I had never been to Hawaii not only was I excited aboot going but I was also learning all I could aboot the islands.

I had been to the port lecture so I knew where the emerald ship would be parked but to really learn something aboot the place I decided to go up top to where the big movie screen is outside under the stars or as it was under the sun so I could not only work on my tan but watch Elvis in Blue Hawaii.
Blue Hawaii What's Not To Like?

I was feeling old remembering that I saw this movie at the theater, before I was even a teenager, and I was wondering just when Elvis was going to burst into another song when our captain announced that we were no longer a full day away from Hawaii but only 100 or so miles, and had sped up during the night so that someone could be medevacked   off the ship by coast guard helicopter.
Our Captain At Work Docking

As you can imagine this caused quite a stir among us movie watchers and as the crew set up the forward part of open deck 15, spectators scrambled for a viewing spot. Some climbed to the upper reaches of deck 18 which is really deck 17 because even though the emerald ship has no deck 13, because if it did something superstitious would happen but you can’t get from 12 to 14 without 13.

The captain kept everyone informed about the medivac. He instructed everyone on the port side to vacate their cabins and to get off their decks, and was excellent aboot keeping everyone informed as to the time frame of the rescue.

The Coast Guard C-130 aircraft came into view and started circling the ship. The aircraft has rescue personal on board in case anything was to go askew with the air rescue.

After a while the rescue helicopter came alongside the ship, and eventually hovered over the ship and lowered a fellow down to the deck.

It seemed like quite a while before the helicopter lowered the basket, and after they did the airship flew off and circled while the person was tied into the thing. Finally, the helicopter returned and lowered its line and the loaded basket was raised up. I hope the person in the basket was well drugged because that is one ride I would not like to take.

Once everyone was secure in the helicopter the line was dropped again and the coastguard fellow was lifted back up to the airship.

The person made it to the hospital in Hawaii we were told later, and was expected to recover.

Everything went back to normal on the ship except that the movie was over and we were now aboot 70 miles from our port Hilo on the big island, and we were going to circle until morning when we would dock at the scheduled time.

 I wouldn’t have minded a extra evening in Hilo, but that is the thing aboot ship travel, you are on their time frame, but before sunset the island was sighted, and not long after that large clouds of steam caused by the lava from the Kilauea volcano was sighted.

 Even cooler than the steam clouds after dark through the clouds you could see the red glow of lava from the volcanos caldera, and in the morning we would go see the volcano up close from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.


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