Coast Guard helicopters involved in submarine medevac

Coast Guard helicopters involved in submarine medevac


Rescue 115 from Shannon provided top cover support for their Sligo colleagues – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

Two Irish Coast Guard helicopters were involved in an operation to airlift an injured sailor from a British submarine off the Sligo coast today.

Rescue 115 was sent to provide top-cover support for the crew of the Sligo based Rescue 118 which had been tasked on the medevac (medical evacuation) mission.

The alarm was raised early today when the UK Coastguard and Maritime Agency (UKMCA) requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.

Both helicopters made their way to the scene while the casualty was winched aboard Rescue 118 and airlifted him to Sligo University Hospital. It’s understood that the sailor sustained fractures in both legs.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Navy said: “We can confirm that a crew member from a Royal Navy submarine was today airlifted to hospital by the Irish Coastguard. Arrangements were made for the airlift through the UK Coastguard in accordance with standard procedures.”

“It would be inappropriate to comment further; for security reasons we do not discuss submarine operations and any questions relating to the casualty would be medical in confidence,” the spokeswoman added.

The operation was coordinated by staff at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre at Malin Head in Donegal.

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.