Flares for dramatic night rescue
A dramatic sea rescue took place about 700 kilometres off the coast of La Palma after a British woman became ill on a cruise.
The operation lasted about eleven hours and involved a Superpuma helicopter and a Fokker 27 aircraft both belonging to the Canary Islands’ Air Command Force.
The alert was raised at about 2am in the morning when the woman became “very se-riously” ill with signs of pneumo-nia, fever and respiratory problems. She was on board the MS Balmoral which had left Funchal in the Azores bound for the Virgin Islands.
The helicopter and Fokker are based on Gran Canaria but had to land at La Palma to refuel before reaching the ship. As it was impossible to land on the cruiser, the woman was airlifted into the helicopter by stretcher as the dark night was lit up by flares. The patient was then flown to hospital in Gran Canaria.