Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Merry Christmas, Navy Style

For the holidays, it doesn't get much better than this:
Laura Montero, 14, fell ill aboard the Dawn Princess cruise ship off the coast of Baja California.

The Bahamian-registered ship sent out a distress call Friday that was answered by the USS Ronald Reagan, which was on training maneuvers about 500 miles away.

The nuclear carrier was the closest ship with a hospital facility, according to a news release from the Navy. It steamed overnight toward the cruise ship, which was about 250 miles northwest of Cabo San Lucas when the call went out.

A helicopter took off from the Reagan around 5 a.m. Saturday to close the final 175-mile gap between the ships. The crew arrived after a 45-minute flight and lowered a medic onto the cruise ship deck in a basket because there wasn't space to land, said Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Leland, the pilot.

Montero, who was on an antibiotic drip, was loaded into a litter basket, lifted into the helicopter and flown back to the Reagan for an appendectomy. Her mother stayed aboard the cruise ship.
A big "bravo zulu" for a job well done.


07:50AM CST: A bit more on Laura and her mother, Trudy.

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