Toddler Evacuated From Disney Cruise Ship After Suffering Medical Emergency

A 13-month-old girl had to be evacuated from a Disney Cruise Line vessel earlier this week after experiencing a medical emergency, rescue officials say.

Crew members on the ship, the Disney Fantasy, contacted a Coast Guard station at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday to request medevac assistance for the child, who suffered an emergency as the cruise liner was approximately 34 miles northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The toddler, an American citizen, needed immediate medical attention ashore—but it remains unknown what issue she suffered, WPTV reported.

The U.S. Coast Guard, which released images and video from the operation via its website yesterday, confirmed a boat crew was launched to rendezvous with the Disney Fantasy, noting that it had been just inside the entrance of San Juan Harbor at the time.

The crew were able to board the cruise liner and evacuate the child, her parents and a cruise ship doctor. They were transported to land, where they were met by paramedics and taken by ambulance to the Centro Medico Hospital, Puerto Rico.

"We realized this was a time sensitive case, and that we needed to help this child get to a higher level of medical care as soon as possible," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos A. Garay, who was a crewmember for the medevac on board the 45-foot response boat.

Garay added: "The excellent coordination and collaboration between our boat crew, Sector San Juan watchstanders and the Disney Fantasy as well as the cruise ship's side ramp technology, allowed for a smooth approach that led to a rapid and safe medevac. Our crew is very glad to have helped this child and her parents, we wish her a prompt recovery."

Disney Cruise Line has been contacted for comment. No identities have been released by the company or rescue professionals. The firm's website lists four ships: the Fantasy, Magic, Wonder and Dream. The Fantasy's destinations are mainly around the Carribean.

The Disney Cruise Line says its ships have medical centers, while a doctor and nurse are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to on-board emergencies.

It explains: "Occasionally, it may be necessary for a patient to disembark the ship for transport to a nearby medical facility. Please note that medical personnel are employed by a company independent of Disney Cruise Line, and standard... fees will be charged for all services."

"Fees incurred at the Health Center will appear on your stateroom account. Additionally, because onboard medical services are considered 'care outside the United States,' you will be responsible for paying any such charges prior to leaving the ship," the guest services FAQ continues.

It remains unclear if the 13-month-old's family would be billed.

Coast Guard
A Coast Guard Station San Juan boat crew medically evacuated a 13-month-old girl from a Disney Fantasy cruise ship Dec. 18, 2019 just inside the entrance of San Juan Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard District 7 San Juan