HM Coastguard was called at around 12.45pm on Thursday (March 15) following reports of a passenger requiring urgent hospital treatment.
The situation aboard CMV’s Astoria, sailing an 11-night British Isles Discovery cruise, unfolded around 45 nautical miles from Newcastle.
A search and rescue helicopter answered the distress call and amid treacherous conditions, safely lowered a paramedic winchman onto the ship to treat the female passenger.
After she was secured, the woman was winched into the helicopter and flown to James Cook Hospital in Middlesborough. CMV is continuing to assist the passenger and their family with practical help and support, a spokesperson told TTG.
James Bullock, HM Coastguard Humberside co-pilot and first officer, said: “This proved to be a challenging rescue due to the adverse weather conditions.
“The transit was hampered by poor visibility but once on scene, the sea state of around six meters and 35-knot winds created significant movement on the vessel which made for a tricky winch recovery.
“Thankfully with the assistance of the ship’s crew tending the hi-line and patience as we waited for the largest of the waves to subside, the casualty was recovered safely and quickly.”
A spokesperson for CMV added: “A critically ill passenger had to be medically disembarked... from CMV’s Astoria during a British Isles Discovery cruise.
“The medical team and crew on board CMV’s Astoria operated within all the required protocols making the decision to medically disembark the critically ill passenger.
“The Helivac disembarkation had to be timed with great skill and precision due to the weather conditions at the time. CMV would like to thank the goastguard for their excellent assistance during the medical disembarkation.
“The health and safety of all passengers and crew is of paramount importance to CMV. CMV’s thoughts are with the family and friends of the passenger at this difficult time and CMV continue to assist the passenger and their family with practical help and support.”