• Jason Leppert

A Century of US Coast Guard Aviation Protection Extends to Cruising

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Having sailed on over a hundred cruises, I’ve witnessed several medical evacuations from ships over the years thanks to the valiant support of our United States Coast Guard, and this year, USCG Aviation is celebrating its centennial.

In 2015, my parents and I were sailing aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 cutting across the North Atlantic Ocean, and one of our fellow passengers had to be airlifted from the ship for health reasons, no small task while in the middle of the ocean far from land. But the Coast Guard was up to it and sent a EADS HC-144A Ocean Sentry medium-range fixed-wing aircraft and a Sikorsky HH-60J Jayhawk medium-range helicopter (pictured above) to accomplish the objective.

READ MORE: 2 Passengers Rescued From Cruise Ship Following Emergency

The expansive upper deck of the ocean liner is large enough to accept a chopper landing, so the crew prepared for the Jayhawk’s arrival by spraying down the deck with precautionary fire retardant foam. The Ocean Sentry was first to arrive, circling the vessel in preparation for the helicopter which followed shortly be

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