Elderly pair airlifted from cruise ship in Atlantic

Elderly pair airlifted from cruise ship in Atlantic


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Rescue 115 left Shannon at 6am for the five hour mission – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Two elderly people have been airlifted to hospital from a cruise ship almost 300kms out in the Atlantic.

The pair, both in their 70’s, are understood to have been complaining of chest pain and breathing difficulties.

While the Irish Coast Guard was made aware of the situation on Tuesday, the cruise ship was too far west at the time for a helicopter to reach it.

The ship steamed towards the Irish coast for two days until it came within rescue helicopter coverage in the early hours of this morning.

The Shannon based search and rescue helicopter – Rescue 115 – took off at 6am today to meet the ship 150 nautical miles (278kms) south west of Valentia Island.

An Irish Air Corps CASA maritime patrol aircraft was also sent to assist in the operation by providing ‘top cover’ communications support.

The patient’s were airlifted to University Hospital Limerick where they are both being treated.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.