Boy's seizure at sea prompts frantic trek to shore

Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-18 02:30:35-05
SAN DIEGO -  A 14 year old boy is recovering at Scripps La Jolla Hospital after suffering a seizure on a cruise ship.

What unfolded was a risky mission to get the boy back to shore safely.

The boy, who has cerebral palsy, was with his parents on a Princess Cruise ship Tuesday when he suffered a seizure 400 miles off the coast of California. The Star Princess, based in Los Angeles, is on a 15-night cruise from Maui, Hawaii, to Ensenada, Mexico.

Air National Guard from the 129th Air Rescue Wing responded to the ship from Moffett Federal Airfield in San Jose, Calif., at about 10 a.m., sending two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and airlifting the boy and his father, a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, to shore.

However, the helicopter transporting the boy and its crew did not have enough fuel to complete the rescue. A C-130 had to be called in from MCAS Miramar to meet the helicopter and refuel it midair over the Pacific Ocean.

The helicopter crew was able to stabilize the boy before the helicopter landed safely at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla just after 4:30 p.m.