Updated: 27/09/17 : 14:31:01
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Sligo rescue chopper in cruise liner medical evacuation

The Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter R118 this morning conducted 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 was en route to University Galway Hospital and was expected to arrive before midday. However due to adverse weather conditions R118 was re-routed to Sligo Airport for onwards patient transfer by ambulance to Sligo University Hospital.

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.