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Carnival Cruise passengers airlifted by Air Force in dramatic rescue

The rescue of a mother and her child from a Carnival Cruise Line ship in the Atlantic by U.S. Air Force helicopters on Saturday was captured by dramatic photos.

A mother and her child in crisis were airlifted by helicopter from a Carnival Cruise Line ship on Saturday in a hair-raising Air Force rescue. 

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, two HC-130J Combat King 11 aircraft and two teams of combat rescue officers and pararescuemen based at Patrick Space Force Base in Brevard County, Florida, flew 350 nautical miles off the U.S. eastern coast to reach the Carnival Venezia, the 920th Rescue Wing said Tuesday. 

The ship had set sail on April 26 from Port Canaveral, Florida, for a 10-day cruise to the Bahamas and Caribbean. To reach the Venezia's location, rescuers needed three air-to-air refuelings, the Air Force said.

Dramatic photos show the unnamed woman and her son being hoisted up into the helicopter from the ship's deck.

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"The patient was successfully transferred to a hospital in the United States," a U.S. Air Force spokesperson said. "After 8 hours, and more than 1,200 miles flown, the mission was complete when all of the aircraft returned to Patrick SFB."

The nature of the medical emergency was not immediately clear. Fox News Digital has reached out to Carnival Cruise Line for comment.

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The rescue group's commander said the mission showed "what ready now looks like." 

"These real-world missions are what our countless hours of training have prepared us for. Rescue was able to plan and execute this mission without hesitation," Lt. Col. John Lowe said. "This combined arms team is highly trained in their field while understanding what role they play in the bigger picture and led to the successful completion of the mission."

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