Belfast Telegraph

Ill boy, 3, airlifted from ferry

A three-year-old boy has been taken to hospital by helicopter after he fell ill on board a passenger ferry.

He was returning to Ireland with his family and was about 13 nautical miles from Strumble Head on the west Wales coast when the coastguard was called shortly before 4pm.

A doctor and two nurses on the Stena Europe ferry, which sails from Fishguard to Rosslare, decided he needed to be taken off the ship after speaking to doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

A rescue helicopter was scrambled to airlift him to Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

Milford Haven Coastguard watch manager Graham Warlow said: "The little boy and his family were on their way home to Ireland when the child was taken ill.

"We wish him a speedy recovery."

Meanwhile, merchant vessel the Marida Melissa warned Holyhead Coastguard it had a medical emergency on board when one of its crew fell ill.

An RNLI lifeboat was launched with paramedics to take the Indian man to hospital because the rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey was needed for the little boy on the ferry.

Holyhead Coastguard watch manager Barry Priddis said: "We don't normally use lifeboats for medical evacuations but in this case the child had to take priority.

"When the lifeboat crew arrived at the vessel, which was anchored off Moelfre, they assessed the scene and reported back to us that they were confident that they could evacuate the ill man off of the ship safely. The man was carefully lifted on to the lifeboat then taken back into Moelfre, where he was lifted into an awaiting ambulance, then on to hospital."

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