A medical emergency on board the 70,000 tonne P & O cruise ship, Pacific Jewel, saw the Merimbula Marine Rescue crew racing to assist on Saturday afternoon, February 9 after the captain of the liner radioed for help.
The liner was bound for Sydney when an on board medical emergency forced the vessel to divert close to Merimbula Bay with a seriously ill crew member.
The crew of Sapphire Rescue III from Merimbula was joined by paramedics and two officers from Eden Water Police. The rescue vessel was at the scene within five minutes but crew member Peter Roberts said sea conditions and a running swell of up to 2.5 metres meant the transfer of paramedics and police was a very tricky and difficult operation.
Once on board paramedics determined that a vessel transfer would be best using the Pacific Jewel’s lifeboat.
With hundreds of cruise liners passengers watching on, the 27-year-old female employee from Vanuatu was moved to the lifeboat which then headed towards Merimbula Wharf.
The woman had to be transferred from the lifeboat to the rescue boat in the calmer waters close to the Wharf before the rescue vessel returned to its base close to the fishing club to be met by a waiting ambulance.
The woman was taken to Bega Hospital for urgent surgery.
The incident kept the Pacific Jewel in Merimbula Bay for about 90 minutes.
The News Weekly would like to thank the many people who submitted photos taken during the emergency; it is much appreciated.