Unconscious man winched from Navy ship and flown to hospital

A crew member fell unconscious on board the New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Wellington.

A crew member fell unconscious on board the New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Wellington.

A man has been winched from a Navy ship and flown to hospital after losing consciousness near Great Mercury Island.

The man, in his 30s, was on duty on board the HMNZS Wellington when he fell ill and required medical attention on Wednesday just after 11am.

He was treated by New Zealand Defence Force medics before the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived at the ship, located in the waters off the Coromandel Peninsula, soon after.

The rescue helicopter's spokeswoman Kerrie Spicer said landing on the 85 metre ship was not an option.

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"Once overhead ... intensive care flight paramedic Ross Aitken was winched down onto the ship to treat the patient.

"After assessing his condition, the patient was placed onto a stretcher and the crew winched him, and Ross, on board the helicopter."

She was unable to comment on what was wrong with the man, citing privacy concerns.

The patient was flown to North Shore Hospital in a moderate condition.

Spicer said the man had been feeling unwell for a couple of days in the lead-up to Wednesday's incident.

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The NZ Defence Force said the crew member was now recovering well.

"The Navy has comprehensive medical support facilities in its ships, which are capable of treating a wide range of medical issues should they arise," a spokesperson said. 

"However, on occasion it is necessary to seek care ashore and this was the case in this instance. We are grateful for the assistance from the Westpac Rescue helicopter."

 - Stuff.co.nz

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