A seriously injured fisherman had to be airlifted from a trawler off the Kerry coast late last night.
The alarm was raised at around 6.30pm when the skipper of the French fishing vessel requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard. It is understood that the fisherman in his 40s had sustained crush injuries to his chest.
The trawler crew did not initially believe that their colleague’s injuries were serious enough to warrant an emergency medical evacuation by helicopter so requested that the man be removed from the vessel by lifeboat.
The Valentia RNLI lifeboat was tasked and launched at 7.20pm and proceeded to meet the trawler which was about 20 kilometres off the Blasket Islands.
On arrival at the scene, it was quickly established that the crew member was more seriously injured than previously thought so a helicopter was requested to assist.
At around 9.30pm, the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter was tasked.
Rescue 115 rendezvoused with the trawler west of the Blasket Islands at around 10.10pm. The crew’s winchman/paramedic was lowered onto the deck of the vessel and taken below deck to the casualty.
The helicopter hovered overhead for more than an hour while the casualty was assessed, treated and stabilised. With the help of the lifeboat crew the man was carried onto the deck and winched on board the helicopter.
Rescue 115 left the scene at around 11.10pm and airlifted the injured man to University Hospital Tralee where he was handed into the care of the HSE.