The U.S. Coast Guard transported a patient to an off-Island hospital Thursday, touching down and taking off with a helicopter from Alley Waban Park in Oak Bluffs. 

Patients in critical need are usually brought off-Island by boat or medical helicopter from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, but Thursday’s blustery weather forced officials to turn to the Coast Guard.

“When there are critical patients at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital that can’t be air evacuated or boat evacuated…our last ditch effort is the Coast Guard,” said Oak Bluffs fire Chief Nelson Wirtz.

The Coast Guard landed at Waban Park because the pilots determined it was the safest designated landing site at the time. According to Mr. Wirtz, the pilots could not see the ground at the airport and were unable to land at the hospital, most likely due to weather.

Members of the police and fire departments went to the park to make it more visible for the Coast Guard pilots for landing.