The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced an 87-year-old man experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms Monday night from the cruise ship Zaandam, which earlier had been moored in Astoria and departed at approximately 6 p.m.

Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, a public affairs officer at Air Station Astoria, said the Coast Guard was notified at 8:40 p.m. that a man aboard the Zaandam was having heart attack or stroke symptoms. A Jayhawk helicopter launched by 9:30 p.m. and arrived on scene, about 25 miles southwest of the Columbia River entrance and en route to California, by 9:37 p.m.

The helicopter, hovering above the cruise ship, briefed it on the hoist and dropped a rescue swimmer, who assessed the man and readied him for a hoist.

“It takes a little time to make sure everyone’s safe,” said Mosley.

The helicopter brought the man back to Air Station Astoria at the Astoria Regional Airport, said Mosley, and transferred him to awaiting emergency medical services by 10:45 p.m.

His condition is unknown.

The Zaandam, a Netherlands-flagged cruise ship operated by Holland America Line, carries more than 1,200 passengers. As of this morning, it was nearing the Oregon-California border.


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