Liver transplant child flown to London by Coast Guard


A CHILD requiring a liver transplant was flown by the Irish Coast Guard to London yesterday. The medical evacuation took place after a Health Service Executive request at 2am yesterday.

The Irish Coast Guard Dublin-based Sikorsky search-and-rescue helicopter crew was assembled and briefed in 10 minutes, due to the “very critical timeframe”, according to the Department of Transport.

“Shortly afterwards, the helicopter and crew were en route to Heathrow airport in London with the young patient, who was later transferred to King’s Cross Hospital,” it said.

The “medevac” was one of a number of incidents involving Irish Coast Guard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution crews over a 24-hour period, including the rescue of six children and one adult from overturned kayaks off Clogherhead, Co Louth.

The six girls and an adult instructor from an adventure centre were in the water when the Clogherhead lifeboat Doris Bleasdale arrived on the scene.

The girls and their teacher from a national school in Dublin were on a day-trip to the adventure centre with the rest of their class.

Earlier on Thursday, the Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter lifted an injured crew member from a fishing vessel in the Shannon estuary. He was later transferred by ambulance to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital.

In west Cork, the Castletown Coast Guard Unit was tasked to assist an injured person on rocks at Ballydonegan Beach, Allihies.

Early yesterday morning, the Sligo-based Coast Guard helicopter evacuated a sick crew member from a fishing vessel 105 miles west of Loop Head, Co Clare.

The Shannon Coast Guard helicopter provided cover for the long-distance operation.

Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds paid tribute to his teams yesterday.

“It is very unusual for the Coast Guard to operate out as far east as London, but we are delighted that the transfer went smoothly and that we could help,” he said, referring to the medevac.