ADVENTURE: Diane Davis is rescued by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.
ADVENTURE: Diane Davis is rescued by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter. Contributed

Cruise ship rescue to air on our screens in the new year

LISMORE'S Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew never knows sometimes where their jobs will take them.

In December 2015 they were called out to a cruise ship off the coast after Brisbane resident Diane Davis fell down some stairs and smashed her femur.

The rescue was filmed and will be showing in an episode of season four of Air Rescue on Channel 7 on January 4.

The Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas cruise liner had started it's trip on December 5, 2015 with Springfield resident's Gary and Diane Davis on board.

"The next morning we had breakfast and were going to book for the Ice show,” Mrs Davis said.

"We walked down some marble stairs and some people were standing in my way.

"My husband asked them to move but (they didn't) so I had to go around them.”

The next thing, Mrs Davis slipped and fell down the stairs, hitting the marble floor.

"I didn't hear the crack but my husband did,” she said.

"I had smashed my femur bone.”

Despite the professional medical work of the cruise ship doctor, Mrs Davis' injuries required her to go to hospital.

Lismore's helibase was called to do the pick up and delivery of Mrs Davis to Coffs Harbour hospital where an orthopaedic surgeon could tend to her.

The team had to perform a 'turn and burn' where, after the helicopter lands on the pad smaller than a tennis court, it is not allowed to switch off in case there is a problem with starting up again.

Mrs Davis said the ship had to veer off course by about 100km as they were too far out for the helicopter to get to them.

In the episode viewers will see the work of a search and rescue plane which assists the helicopter to actually find the cruise ship, so fuel isn't wasted looking for them.

The heli medics have only 28 minutes from landing on the ship to find Mrs Davis, prepare her for the trip and get her into the helicopter to take off before they run out of onboard fuel.

"All I remember of them was the blue suit and black helmets,” Mrs Davis said.

"They got me to where I wanted to go.”

Mrs Davis underwent surgery where two levers and a bracket were placed into her femur and she received a new hip joint.

Her daughter came down from Brisbane to eventually pick her up and husband Gary stayed on the ship until they got to Noumea where he caught a flight home.

"We can't thank the Royal Caribbean staff and helicopter crew enough for what they did for me,” Mrs Davis said.



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