Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press
Laura Montero

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A teenager whose appendix ruptured at sea, hundreds of miles from help, got safely to shore Tuesday after an unusual rescue in which the Navy airlifted her from a cruise ship for emergency surgery.

Laura Montero, 14, fell ill aboard the Dawn Princess cruise ship off the coast of Baja California. The Bahamian-registered ship sent out a distress call Friday that was answered by the USS Ronald Reagan, which was on training maneuvers about 500 miles away.

The Reagan, a nuclear carrier, was the closest ship with a hospital facility, according to a news release from the Navy. It steamed overnight toward the cruise ship.