Government jet plays rescue role


The Government jet was drafted in to assist in a medical evacuation from a Naval boat earlier today.

The unusual move was taken because the ship, the LE Roisin, was too far off land for the Irish Coast Guard helicopter to maintain communications with base.

A male crew member (33) was transported to Kerry General Hospital on the advice of Medico Cork, the body that guides the Coast Guard on medical situations at sea. His condition is unclear but not thought to be life-threatening.

A Coast Guard spokesman said although the move was unusual, the Learjet was the most suitable companion aircraft available to undertake the "top cover" role normally carried out by Irish Air Corp Casa planes.

The LE. Roisin was about 150km south, south west of Castletownbere, Co Cork, when it made its request just before 11am. The Coast Guard helicopter responded from Waterford via a refuelling stop at Kerry while the Learjet left Baldonnel at approximately the same time.

It arrived at the ship ahead of the helicopter enabling it to transmit weather information and to maintain radio contact with Coastguard officials.

The crew member was collected at about 2.45pm, arriving at hospital by approximately 4.30pm.