INDIA. Mumbai: A 65-year-old American patient needing urgent hospitalization was evacuated by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) from a passenger’s vessel off Mumbai’s coast and was handed over to the ship’s agent on Thursday.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Mumbai (MRCC) of the Indian Coast Guard received a message in the morning that an American patient on board the MV World Odyssey required immediate medical attention. The passenger, James Douglas Shirley, aged 65 years, suffered retinal displacement and required urgent hospitalization for surgery.
The cruise vessel MV World Odyssey, with 175 passengers on its way to Mombasa, Kenya, was about 230 nautical miles from Mumbai. The ICG ship C-439 was sent with a medical team as soon as the message came in.
According to an official statement, the patient was safely evacuated and given to the ship’s agent in Mumbai so that they could get more medical care at Global Hospital.
The vessel World Odyssey is a passenger (cruise) ship built in 1998 and currently sailing under the flag of the Bahamas. She is expected to reach Kenya on January 26.
“The successful operation and seamless coordination of maritime search and rescue in the Indian Search and Rescue Region by ICG Units and MRCC reaffirmed ICG’s capabilities as the nodal coordinating agency for M-SAR in the Indian Ocean Region,” an official statement read.
In another incident, the ICG rescued 511 pilgrims from the Ganga Sagar Mela who were stranded at sea in two different ferries off Kakdwip in West Bengal on Monday. Two passenger ferries carrying 500-600 pilgrims from Ganga Sagar were stranded in the sea due to fog and low tide.
The ferry vessels M.V. Lacchmati and M.V. Agramati ferried about 600 passengers from Ganga Sagar Mela at Sagar Island to Kakdwip. The official statement said that when the ICGs got the message, their operation teams jumped into action and sent two air cushion vehicles (hovercraft) from Haldia to Frazerganj to help with the rescue.