Ukrainian airlifted to Nelson Hospital

A Ukrainian fisherman suffering acute appendicitis is recovering in Nelson Hospital after being airlifted from his ship.

The 41-year-old fisherman fell ill on New Zealand-flagged FV Irvinga 46 kilometres north of Farewell Spit yesterday, Maritime NZ officials said.

The Rescue Coordination Centre was called about 11.30am, after a doctor on the trawler decided urgent medical treatment was required.

The Nelson Marlborough rescue helicopter winched the man off the ship and flew him to Nelson Hospital. He is in a comfortable condition.

Search and rescue mission co-ordinator Mike Roberts said the man was in Nelson Hospital within an hour and a half of the initial call