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Elite Israeli Air Force unit rescues American who had heart attack on cruise ship

Evacuation made following requests by American officials; woman brought to Haifa hospital

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Soldiers from the Israeli Air Force's elite Unit 669 take part in an exercise in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)
Soldiers from the Israeli Air Force's elite Unit 669 take part in an exercise in an undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli Air Force’s elite helicopter-borne search and rescue unit evacuated an elderly American citizen from a cruise in the Mediterranean early Thursday morning, after she apparently had a heart attack.

The Unit 669 crew brought the woman to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, where she was being treated.

The evacuation was made following a request made by American officials, according to a military source.

There was no immediate comment from Rambam on the woman’s condition.

Unit 669, which specializes in complex combat rescue operations, including outside of Israel’s borders, is routinely dispatched to rescue civilians in incidents where civil emergency services are unable to.

The unit often also transports car crash victims to hospitals from remote locations.

A cruise ship in the Haifa port (illustrative photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
A cruise ship in the Haifa port (illustrative photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

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