A woman is currently being treated at Cork University Hospital after being airlifted from a luxury transatlantic cruise liner off the south coast of Ireland.
An Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, based in Shannon, successfully airlifted the ill passenger to Cork Airport at 12.15pm today who was then transported by road to Cork University Hospital for treatment.
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 en route from New York to Southampton in England when the crew requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.
It was then a waiting game to hold off until the ocean liner was within the aircraft’s range before carrying out the medical evacuation.
Rescue 115 left Shannon at 9.30am this morning and flew almost two-hours to meet the ship. Medics on board had treated and cared for the ill woman while waiting for the Coast Guard to arrive.
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.
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.