Unified Command addresses sick crew members aboard Costa Magica and Favolosa
U.S. Coast Guard is facilitating the medical evacuation of several crew members requiring assistance
The U.S. Coast Guard is facilitating medical evacuations Thursday after requests were made by Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa for life-critical care ashore for multiple crew members presenting with respiratory symptoms consistent with pneumonia and bronchitis.
Upon consultation with the ship’s doctors, local, state, and federal health agencies, it was determined as many as 13 crew members between both ships may need transportation ashore.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Sector Miami, issued an order to both passenger vessels to remain three miles offshore and to refrain from any personnel transfer operations while the Unified Command approves the ship’s disembarkation plan for the sick crew members.
The cruise ships will be transporting crew members ashore with their small boats. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) will be coordinating and facilitating the transport of the sick patients to local area hospitals. MDFR is part of the Florida Infectious Disease Transportation Network (FIDTN), which together with the Florida Department of Health and in partnership with public health, private healthcare providers, hospitals, and emergency response teams such Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, have come together to develop the Florida Infectious Disease Transportation Network (FIDTN.)
The purpose of the FIDTN is to send specially trained emergency medical services units to conduct transport of highly infectious disease patients from any point to airports or a designated treatment hospital.
Once patients arrive at Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, MDFR will be utilizing specialty rescue units outfitted for the transport of patients with infectious diseases. Currently, six crew members will be transferred off Costa Magica, while Costa Favolosa is not expected offshore until this afternoon. The PortMiami Unified Command is made up of representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police Department, Costa Cruises, Port of Miami, and the Florida Department of Health. The Unified Command links federal, state, and local agencies to the incident and provides them a forum to make decisions together.
The Unified Command will remain in position to facilitate and support missions during the virus response to ensure the health, safety, and security of the port partners and surrounding communities.