The Shannon based Irish Coast Guard helicopter has successfully airlifted an ill passenger from a luxury transatlantic cruise liner off the south coast.
Rescue 115 had been on standby since yesterday afternoon to rendezvous with RMS Queen Mary 2 which, at the time, was over 700 kilometres south west of Ireland.
The 345m long ocean liner was travelling from New York to Southampton in England when the crew requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.
The helicopter crew had to wait until the ocean liner was within the aircraft’s range before they could undertake the medical evacuation (medevac).
Rescue 115 departed Shannon at 9.30am today for the almost two-hour flight to meet the ship. Medics on board had treated and cared for the ill woman until she could be airlifted to hospital.
After reaching the ship, the helicopter’s winchman/paramedic was lowered onto the deck to assess the patient. The casualty was then winched on board the helicopter and flown to Cork Airport.
Rescue 115 landed in Cork at around 12.15pm and was met by an ambulance. The ill passenger was then transported by road to Cork University Hospital for treatment. The crew returned to Shannon where it landed shortly before 2.00pm.
The operation was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry. The Queen Mary 2 has continued to Southampton where it is due to dock early tomorrow.
Last November, the Shannon based helicopter airlifted an elderly woman from the same cruise liner.