Updated: Nov 17
by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog
Today was a eventful day. It is the 20th birthday of the Zuiderdam and 150 years for the Holland America Cruise Line.
To celebrate the special day there was an Orange Party in the late evening. Lots of music and dancing just like they did for the Halloween party. Orange is the color that represents Holland.
There was an unexpected event that happened in the afternoon. One of the crew members was critically ill and had to be air lifted from the ship. Two coast guards helicopters and two refueling airplanes came 420 nautical miles which was about 5 hours from San Diego. They also have two scuba divers and medical staff on the deck in case any unexpected issues occurred. This was a risky but necessary medical evacuation procedure.
It took over an hour for the medical evacuation to happen. Passengers watched at a safe distance from the back of the ship where the evacuation took place. The winds were about 25 miles per hour which made it difficult for the helicopter to be able to hover as they tried to lift the patient to the helicopter. Everyone watched with anticipation. Unfortunately, the first attempt was not successful due to the wind. The helicopters circled the ship several times till they decided on the optimal weather conditions to try again. The second attempt was successful and five hours later the crew member was under the care of the hospital in San Diego.
Wow, what an stimulating second to last day on the Zuiderdam.