Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron last night (Sunday 5 February) to evacuate a casualty having medical difficulties onboard a 160m bulk carrier vessel.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched the lifeboat at 10pm following a request by the UK Coastguard to medically evacuate a ship engineer who was experiencing heart related medical issues. The crew quickly made their way to the 160m vessel approximately nine nautical miles north east of Larne.
Two crew members boarded the vessel and medically assessed the male casualty who had experienced cardiac difficulties. The casualty was treated appropriately prior to being transferred to the lifeboat. On arrival at the Port of Larne the lifeboat was met by Larne Coastguard Team and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the casualty was taken to hospital for further assessment.
Speaking following the call out, Norman Surplus, Larne RNLI Second Coxswain said: 'Any winter call outs at night, always demand an extra level of crew alertness and readiness. When this is combined with a medical evacuation, it adds up to an even greater level of technical complexity.
‘Our highly trained crew worked steadily as a team, with a calm efficiency that allowed the whole rescue to run quickly and very smoothly which is vital when a casualty is relying on us to deliver them safely ashore as soon as possible.
‘Thankfully sea conditions in the North Channel were quite calm and as the casualty vessel was very large, it allowed them to provide us with as much shelter as possible when we approached alongside, ideal conditions for a safe casualty transfer.’
Larne RNLI extended its thanks to Larne Port Control and the P&O European Highlander.
‘On their scheduled departure from Larne, the ferry's regular sail plan was quickly rearranged to take a northerly route out around the Hunter Rock. This allowed the lifeboat to hold course and maintain a direct, fastest approach straight into the harbour where we could land the casualty and pass him into the care of the Ambulance Service as quickly as possible.'