The call came in the middle of the night: The liver that the Martha’s Vineyard man had been waiting for was suddenly available. He had to get off the island.

He “was at the top of the list for a liver transplant,” State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement. “Time was of the essence.”

The man’s wife called State Police at 1:50 a.m. Friday, said Procopio, and asked for an escort from Woods Hole in Falmouth to Massachusetts General Hospital.

The couple was rushed by boat from the Vineyard to Woods Hole by harbormaster Jay Wilbur. Wilbur said he is friends with the man, and they had planned for this.


“We had spoken about it in the last couple of months,” said Wilbur. “I was the last resort.”

In Falmouth, a state trooper and a Cape Cod Ambulance waited at the ready, Procopio said .

The ambulance and cruiser left Woods Hole just after 2:10 a.m., he said, and were joined by another trooper at the Braintree split on I-93.

At 3:05 a.m., less than 1½ hours after the initial phone call, the man made it safely to the hospital for the transplant operation.

A hospital spokeswoman said she did not have any information on the man’s condition. Police did not identify the couple by name.

Jacqueline Tempera contributed to this report. Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.