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Coastguard involved in medical evacuation from cruise liner

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Coastguard's Lion Foundation Rescue evacuated a seriously ill passenger from the 294m cruise liner Norwegian Jewel last night, in choppy seas.

At 2015 hours yesterday evening (18/1), the Coastguard Operations Centre received a call regarding one of the 2,300 passengers aboard the cruise liner Norwegian Jewel, who had suffered a medical event and needed urgent evacuation to a hospital on land.

Volunteers aboard the Coastguard rescue vessel Lion Foundation Rescue were tasked to pick up two St John paramedics from shore, arriving at the 294m-long Norwegian Jewel at 2130 hours.

The Norwegian Jewel had departed Auckland and was passing Cape Rodney when the passenger suffered the medical event, so the ship turned back to meet Lion Foundation Rescue at the Pilot Boarding Station, north of Rangitoto Island.

One of the paramedics from Lion boarded the 93,000 ton cruise ship, a challenging task given the heavy conditions (2 metre swells, gusting 37 knots with an average of 27 knots NE). However Coastguard volunteers were well prepared for the technical task - once the patient was stabilised, a lifeboat from the cruise liner (pictures attached) was lowered with the patient and their partner aboard, then brought aboard Lion Foundation Rescue and evacuated to shore.

This extremely technical rescue in choppy seas was effected in a professional manner by all agencies involved, including St John New Zealand, Ports of Auckland and their Pilot boat, the Maritime Police Unit and of course the Coastguard Auckland volunteers aboard Lion Foundation Rescue.

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