In my earlier post I talked about the helicopter medi vac of a crew member from the Serenade.
Captain Antalis informed us today that this evacution cost $370,000.00
The helicopter was accompanied by 2 airplanes to refuel it in flight, because of the distance from California to the meeting point. Not at all like a typical medi-vac situation in the Caribbean.
I have to say the Captain was wonderful, keeping the passengers well informed throughout as to what was going to transpire. And his first thoughts were always for the life of his crew member.
At one point there was some thought that the ship may be late getting to Vancouver, but they have maintained top speed, and will likely make Vancouver as scheduled.
Can't imagine how much extra fuel is being consumed, because we're also fighting a fairly strong head wind.
We were told the crew member went directly to surgery.... and we wish her well!!!
Unless I am saddly mistaken, if and when the U.S. Coast Guard uses a helicopter or vessel to evacutate an ill or injured individual from the cruise suip, there is no charge. Several years ago the Commandant of the Coast Guard during a hearing on the budget was asked why no charge is made. The Commandant contended that he was opposed to any fee since it considered a life saving effort..
During the years I have cruised, I have witnessed a number evacuation by helicopter. These are quite impressive but also dangerous. One year, during half the season, the CG in Junea told me that they had already evacuated seven people from various cruise ships by helicopter.
In my 2 cents I forgot to mention that the CG considers an at sea evacuation to be discretionary and not compulsory. According to the info I have on the subject, the CG
will undertake an at sea evacuation subject to the availability of a helicopter and crew, distances involved, weather and sea conditions.