Latest: Coast Guard transporting cruise ship passenger to Sligo for medical treatment

Update 12.45pm: Due to weather conditions R118 re-routed to Sligo Airport for onwards patient transfer by ambulance to Sligo University Hospital.

Earlier: The Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter R118 is conducting the medical evacuation of a passenger on board the cruise ship, Marco Polo, in need of urgent medical attention.

Malin Rescue Coordination Centre received an early morning request from the UK Maritime Coast Guard Agency who requested the Coast Guard to assume coordination of the operation.

The rendezvous with the ship took place 190 miles west of Erris Head shortly before 8.30am.

Weather conditions at the time were described as reasonable.

The Coast Guard helicopter is currently on route to University Galway Hospital where it is expected to arrive before midday.

An Air Corps Casa had been made available to provide communications and surveillance back up, known as ‘Top Cover’ but had to be redeployed to conduct two separate patient transfers to UK on foot of a request from National Ambulance Service.

This role was reassigned to the Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter R116.

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