UPDATE: Tricky for chopper to get to ill cruise passenger

UPDATE: 10PM: The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has successfully winch recovered a 76yo female passenger from the cruise ship Voyager of the Seas 80 nautical miles off the Ballina coast line.

The mission required significant planning by numerous agencies to achieve the recovery of the passenger from the ship. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter flew to the ship twice to complete the mission. Ship access and patient preparation required the helicopter to return to Ballina Airport for fuel whilst the medical team conducted further treatment and prepared the 76yo patient for recovery and transfer to the Gold Coast University Hospital. The patient was transported in a critical condition suffering an acute cardiac event.   EARLIER:

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has been tasked by NSW Ambulance service and Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to assist in the recovery of a female passenger suffering a severe medical condition from the passenger cruise liner 'Voyager of the Seas' presently 170nm off the coast of Coffs Harbour.

The Passenger liner is cruising at top speed to be off the coast of Ballina in the next few hours to allow the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to rendezvous with the ship.

This is the second time in recent weeks the helicopter has been used to retrieve a person from a cruise ship. Last Monday, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has successfully winch recovered a 32yo male passenger from the cruise liner Carnival Spirit 50nm off the coast of Wooli.

The helicopter flew the patient through to the Gold Coast University Hospital for further treatment. The 32yo passenger had suffered a serious medical condition that required immediate medical evacuation.



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