Rescue 115 airlifts ill woman from cruise liner

Rescue 115 airlifts ill woman from cruise liner


The ship changed course and routed north to meet the helicopter – Image:

The crew of the Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, airlifted an elderly woman to hospital from a luxury ocean liner over 150 kilometres off the Irish coast.

RMS Queen Mary 2, operated by cruise line Cunard, departed Southampton in England late on Sunday and was bound for New York.

At around 2.30 on Monday afternoon, when the 345m long ship was about 20 hours into its journey, the crew raised the alarm and requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.

At the time, the ship was about 160 kilometres south west of Fastnet Rock off Cork.

The Shannon-based search helicopter, Rescue 115, was tasked to undertake the long-range medical evacuation mission and departed Shannon at 3.45pm.

In the meantime, the Queen Mary 2 routed north towards Ireland to help reduce the distance the helicopter would have to travel to meet it. The helicopter reached the ship at around 5.20pm.

The casualty had been treated on board the ship by medical personnel and a decision was made to have her airlifted to hospital.

Once the woman had been winched from the deck, she was flown to University Hospital Limerick for treatment while the Queen Mary 2 continued its transatlantic crossing.

The medevac operation, which took almost four hours to complete, was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.

A man was airlifted from same cruise liner off the Cork coast last year.

The ship was making its way from New York to Southampton on October 12th 2017 when the Irish Coast Guard was requested to airlift a man who had suffered a cardiac issue.

Rescue 115 was tasked at first light and reached the liner at around 8.10am when it was about 110 kms south west of Castletownbere. The passenger was flown to hospital for treatment.

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.