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 Obese tourist airlifted from ship

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Kat (Air Marshal)
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Female Number of posts : 251
Age : 39
Localisation : Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Registration date : 2007-05-09

PostSubject: Obese tourist airlifted from ship   Tue May 22, 2007 1:34 pm

The Sea King is capable of lifting 21,000lb (9.5 tonnes)
An obese American tourist who fell ill on a cruise ship had to be carried off by helicopter because of his size.
The man, who weighs 32 stone (203kg), was onboard a luxury five star cruise ship anchored in the Firth of Forth when he suffered gastric problems.

Forth Coastguard realised he was so heavy that its usual rescue procedures would have been impossible.

It called in an RAF Sea King helicopter to winch the man off the boat before carrying him to hospital.

The helicopter, which is capable of carrying 21,000lb (9.5 tonnes), was stationed at RNAS Prestwick.

Trying to get this man down the side of the ship and into a smaller boat was just not possible, so airlifting was our only answer

Forth Coastguard spokesman

The Sea King Rescue 177 is often used for search and rescue, but was originally designed for military use - including anti-submarine warfare and general tasks including heavy lifting.

After winching the sick man from the Century Cruise Liner, run by Celebrity Cruises, it flew him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where fire crews were on standby to transfer him into the building shortly after 0600 BST on Saturday.

He later received emergency surgery, and was said to be recovering in hospital.

A spokesman for Forth Coastguard said the man had visited the ship's doctor, who recommended that he was evacuated after his condition worsened.

The spokesman said: "Trying to get this man down the side of the ship and into a smaller boat was just not possible, so airlifting was our only answer."

The cruise ship, which costs more than 1,000 per head, was thought to be en-route to Norway and the Fjords when it had to drop anchor in the Forth near Hound Point.

A spokesman for RAF Kinloss said: "Staff on board the cruise liner believed the man required hospital treatment and when someone is in trouble, we are more than happy to help out."

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