A seriously injured crewman has been airlifted from a Russian fishing vessel in difficult conditions off the west coast this evening.
Two search and rescue helicopters were involved in the operation while the Irish Naval vessel LÉ Róisín also assisted at the scene.
The large Russian registered vessel was approximately was over 140 nautical miles (260kms) west of Valentia Island in Kerry when the alarm was raised.
Crew members from the LÉ Róisín, which had been on patrol in the area at the time, launched their RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) and boarded the massive ship to assist with evacuating the injured man.
While the crew of the Shannon based helicopter Rescue 115 airlifted the casualty, their colleagues on board Rescue 117 provided ‘Top Cover’ radio communications support.
Weather conditions in the area for helicopter operations were difficult, bordering on marginal for such operations with a strong West South West swell and winds gusting in excess of 35mph.
An Irish Coast Guard spokesman confirmed that the helicopter made an ‘essential fuel stop’ at Kerry Airport before continuing to Shannon Airport where an ambulance was waiting to take the casualty onto University Hospital Limerick.
The operation was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coats Guard marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island.