Rescue helicopter winches woman off cruise ship
UPDATE, 4.10pm: THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter has winch recovered an elderly female patient from the cruise liner Sea Princess.
The helicopter's critical care medical team were winched on board the ship to stabilise the patient, and she is now being flown to the Gold Coast University Hospital.
The winch rescue of the female passenger was carried out less than 5 nautical miles off the Coffs Harbour coast line.
Condition of the patient is unknown.
EARLIER: The WESTPAC Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has been tasked to the cruise liner Sea Princess amid reports that a passenger requires urgent recovery and transport.
The ship is presently off the coast of Coffs Harbour.
This is the third such mission for the helicopter in recent months.
In December last year, the 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.
In the weeks previous to this, 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.