Nineteen sick crewmembers aboard the 584-foot cargo ship JS Comet were hoisted Tuesday evening from their anchored vessel three miles off Port Canaveral, Florida.
Two MH-60 helicopter crews safely hoisted the crewmembers from the vessel in 35 knot winds and five to six foot seas associated with Tropical Storm Arthur. Due to deteriorating weather conditions and the crew's symptoms worsening, the Coast Guard determined the safest course of action was to evacuate the patients via helicopter rather than a Coast Guard small boat.
The JS Comet crew became ill early Tuesday reportedly suffering food poisoning like symptoms, the decision was made to transport the crewmembers to a local area hospital.
Two crewmembers from the JS Comet not experiencing illness remain aboard the vessel which is under a Captain of the Port Order, which prohibits the South Korea-flagged cargo ship to enter any U.S. port of call until certain conditions are met.
Capt. Tom Allan, commanding officer and captain of the port for Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville stated, "The health and well-being of the ill crewmembers was our top priority. Our responders performed extraordinarily in challenging conditions to get the sick crewmembers to hospital. We are coordinating with the company to identify qualified personnel to operate the vessel, mitigate the maritime environmental risks and ensure the public's safety."
Story courtesy of The Maritime Executive, for the full article click here.
exactAIS® tracking of the JS Comet en route to Florida before crewmembers became ill.