Tourism and recreation
Russian border guards help save cruise ship crew member’s life
© RIA Novosti. Georgy Zimarev

Russian border guards help save cruise ship crew member’s life

Russian border guards helped save the life of an ocean liner crew member who was suffering from appendicitis, TASS news agency reports. On July 9, the cruise ship Sea Spirit, that was sailing from Longyearbyen in Svalbard, put to port in Dezhnyov Bay on Alexandra Land Island, part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago. The ship was registered in Nassau, the Bahamas.

"At passport control, the ship's captain, a citizen of Ukraine, asked the border guards to help one of his crewmembers, a Jamaican who had the symptoms of acute appendicitis. The ship's doctor said it was a life-threatening situation, and that surgery was required," TASS reported, citing the Public Relations Center of the Federal Security Service.

It was impossible to airlift the sick sailor to Svalbard, and there was no provision for surgery aboard the ship. Therefore, commanders of the Russian Federal Security Service's border control directorate for the western Arctic district decided to have him treated at a border outpost's surgery unit. A helicopter picked up the sailor at midnight July 10 and flew him ashore along with a border guard detail. A medical team was waiting for him, and he was successfully operated on. At 9.45 am that same day, the patient, who had regained consciousness, was airlifted back to the Sea Spirit.

The cruise ship then continued its tour of Franz Josef Land.