Elderly holidaymaker winched from cruise ship

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Sunshine Coast-based helicopter has winched a man from a cruise ship, off the Queensland coast. 

It’s believed the patient suffered a serious medical episode overnight.

LifeFlight’s capabilities include coordinating the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Telemedicine Advisory Service, by connecting LifeFlight’s highly qualified medical team, directly with vessels at sea.

Last night, medical staff on board the ship were able to consult with a LifeFlight Critical Care Doctor, about the patient’s condition.

It was jointly decided he would need to be airlifted to the mainland, to receive specialist medical care.

The cruise ship diverted and tracked towards the coast, so it could liaise with the rescue helicopter.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s aeromedical team flew to the ship early this afternoon and initially winched a LifeFlight Critical Care Doctor and Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Flight Paramedic down to the ship’s deck.

The man, who had already received medical attention on board the vessel, was stabilised and loaded into a stretcher.

Due to the distance offshore, a Australian Maritime Safety Authority jet circled above the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter, for the duration of the winch mission.

This is standard procedure, during a mission of this nature. 

The aeromedical team has flown the patient to Prince Charles Hospital, in Brisbane, in a serious condition.