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Diligence helps sick man at sea

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington's hometown ship was part of a long-distance medical call at sea.

The Coast Guard Cutter Diligence helped in the effort to get a man suffering from severe abdominal pain on board a ship 300 miles off shore in the Atlantic Ocean to the medical care he needed.

A cargo ship was first to respond to the emergency call. The Coast Guard says the cargo ship is part of the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, which is a voluntary program that automatically alerts vessels to nearby distress.

The cargo ship took the mariner closer to the Diligence. A helicopter then launched from the Diligence, hoisted the mariner and transferred him to medical care ashore.

The mariner is now in stable condition in French St. Martin.

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