Irish Coast Guard evacuates sick seaman from Norwegian navy ship
Operation on HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl 300 kms off Cork at limit of helicopter’s range
The Norwegian ship had contacted the UK rescue authorities to request a medical evacuation and the UK authorities in turn relayed the request to the Irish Coast Guard as the ship was within the Irish sphere of operations. Stock photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
The Irish Coast Guard has successfully completed a long range rescue operation off the south west coast this afternoon to bring a sick seaman from a Norwegian naval ship to hospital in Cork.
The Norwegian ship had contacted the UK rescue authorities to request a medical evacuation and the UK authorities in turn relayed the request to the Irish Coast Guard as the ship was within the Irish sphere of operations.
The HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl was almost at the furthest limit of the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter’s range so Rescue 115 refuelled in Castletownbere in West Cork before proceeding to rendezvous with the ship.
Weather conditions were described as reasonable at the time and the casualty was winched aboard Rescue 115 which proceeded to Cork Airport where the casualty was transferred to Cork University Hospital for treatment.
The entire rescue operation was co-ordinated by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre at Valentia in Co Kerry and the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117 flew to Castletownbere to provide back-up.
The HNoMS Thor Heyerdahl, which is named after the Norwegian explorer who led the Kon Tiki expedition across the Pacific, was commissioned in 2011 and is the newest of the Royal Norwegian Navy’s four frigates currently in service.