Elderly man airlifted from Queen Mary II off Cork coast

An elderly man has been airlifted to hospital from a transatlantic ocean liner off the Cork coast, writes Pat Flynn.

The alarm was raised during the night when the crew of the Queen Mary II requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.

The man, believed to be suffering from a cardiac problem, was treated on board by the ship's own medical crew.

The Shannon-based search and rescue helicopter - Rescue 115 - was tasked at first light and reached the liner at 8.10am. At the time, the ship was about 60 nautical miles (111 kms) south west of Castletownbere.

The helicopter’s paramedic was winched onto the deck of the 345m long liner where the patient had been prepared for the medevac operation.

After about 35 minutes on scene the helicopter airlifted the man to University Hospital Tralee where he was handed into the care of the HSE.

The operation was coordinated by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.

The ocean liner, operated by the Cunard Line, was on its way from New York City to Southampton in England at the time.

The ship is due to dock in Southampton at 11.30am tomorrow.

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