Crew members have been medevaced from two cruise ships off the Florida coast over the weekend, with evacuation operations directed by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Crew Members Medevaced After Getting Ill
The U.S. Coast Guard has been involved in medevacs over the weekend from two different cruise ships off the Florida coast. A total of three crew members were taken ashore. No passengers were on board either of the vessels due to the current suspensions of cruise operations.
One crew member was medevaced from Celebrity Infinity which is operated by Celebrity Cruises. The crew member had COVID-19 symptoms and was transferred from the vessel anchored off the coast by the cruise ship’s own small tender boat.
The operation was directed by the Coast Guard and the ill person was then taken by medical services once on land. This comes after multiple reports of a crew member who died from the same cruise ship, but it’s not known if that death was due to coronavirus.
Two crew members from Oasis of the Seas, which is operated by Royal Caribbean International, also needed to be urgently medevaced over the weekend. Both crew members had COVID-19 symptoms and they were taken ashore by the cruise ship’s own tender boat. They were then taken to local hospitals in the Miami area.
We already posted about 14 crew members who had been infected with COVID-19 on Oasis of the Seas and as a result, the crew has been put into isolation. It does seem there is still an outbreak onboard and now crew members are needing further medical care on land.
Rear Adm. Eric C. Jones, commander of the 7th District, said:
“The entire DHS team is working together to ensure no seafarer will be left untreated during this emergency to the best of our collective ability, however, proactive measures are critical to ensuring our limited search and rescue resources and already stressed shore-side medical services do not get over-burdened.”
“This emergency situation requires cruise ships to take additional measures to be reasonably self-sufficient in these emergency circumstances through improved on board medical care and protocols and pre-approved medical transport procedures.”
There were also further medical evacuations over the weekend including a COVID-19 case from another cruise ship anchored near Miami and a non-coronavirus related issue from a pleasure craft vessel near Port Canaveral. There are currently more than 35 cruise ships with 35,000 crew members aboard in U.S. territorial waters around Florida.
According to our Cruise Ship Tracker, Oasis of the Seas is just off the Miami coast and Celebrity Infinity is near Tampa, Florida. Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, which are both under the same parent company, have suspended cruises until May 12, 2020.
Cruise Hive has already reported that PortMiami would not be doing any further medevacs from cruise ships due to medical capacity in Florida. However, there are exceptions and each case must be assessed by a medical official before a decision can be made.