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A Royal Air Force P8 Poseidon type aircraft used off the Cork coast. Alamy Stock Photo
Atlantic Rescue

Royal Air Force assists Irish Coast Guard off the Cork coast this morning in rescue operation

An injured mariner, onboard a Danish oil tanker 345 miles off the Irish coast, had become unwell onboard a vessel yesterday morning.

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE was called on to support the Irish Coast Guard in a rescue in the early hours of this morning off Kerry, The Journal has learned.

An injured mariner, onboard a Danish oil tanker 345 miles off the Irish coast, had become unwell onboard a vessel yesterday morning.

It is understood, from multiple sources, that consideration was given by the Irish Coast Guard to request the Irish Defence Forces for an Irish Air Corps aircraft to assist the winching operation.

Multiple sources have said that the new Airbus C295 aircraft was unavailable. The Coast Guard asked for help from the UK military.

The operation was completed by the Waterford based Rescue 117 which travelled from its base, via Cork, just after 1am this morning and then out into the Atlantic.  

A spokesperson from the Irish Coast Guard confirmed the operation. 

“Early on Thursday morning, the Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia received a call from a Danish flagged Oil Tanker approximately 345 miles West of Valentia, reporting a medical issue with a crew member onboard.

“Medical advice was provided by the Danish Maritime Telemedical Assistance Service with a recommendation that the crew member be evacuated once the vessel was within range of the Irish coast.

“MRSC Valentia [in Kerry] assumed coordination of the incident while working closely with UK & Danish Coastguard colleagues and continued to monitor the vessel and patient on approach.

“At around 4am this morning, the Irish Coast Guard Waterford based helicopter R117 arrived on scene accompanied by an RAF Poseidon aircraft for top cover, and successfully winched the casualty for onward transfer to Cork Airport and Cork University Hospital,” the spokesperson said. 

It was a busy day yesterday for the Coast Guard as a major air and search was underway of the coast of Galway yesterday evening for a missing swimmer. 

A new search and rescue contract with Bristow Helicopters will have two aircraft available in future to provide top cover for Irish rescue missions. 

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