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Bristow Helicopters Leads Emergency Rescue from Luxury Liner Off the Exmouth Coast

October 25, 2018

A luxury cruise ended abruptly for a passenger who was airlifted from the Ovation of the Seas off the coast of Exmouth this morning. (Wed 24 October)
The 74 year-old woman was winched on board a Bristow Helicopters rescue flight and taken to Port Hedland hospital for emergency surgery. She was accompanied by her husband.

Preparations for the rescue operation began late yesterday afternoon. The airlift was launched at daybreak this morning, coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Bristow’s rescue helicopter was diverted from routine operations transporting personnel to Quadrant Energy’s worksites off the North-West Coast.

The company’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Technical Crew Manager Gordon Watt, flew from Perth to oversee the specialist operation which involved more than 15 Bristow personnel including engineering ground crew in Exmouth, radio control in Karratha and five onboard the aircraft. The operation was supported in the air by the AMSA Challenger jet.

They successfully winched the passenger, by stretcher, off the deck of the vessel which was 30 miles off the coast of Exmouth.

“The woman experienced a serious medical emergency and was in need of surgery to potentially save her life” Mr Watt said.

“WA has a vast coastline and incidents like this demonstrate how important it is for public and private resources to work together to protect the community.

“As well as providing transport and rescue services for our clients, we also provide backup for emergency search and rescue operations off the WA coast.

“Bristow was supported by our client in Exmouth, Quadrant Energy, who allowed their contracted aircraft and SAR crew to respond enabling this vital service to be available to the remote community.”

The Ovation of the Seas, the sixth biggest cruise ship in the world, was travelling from Singapore and is due to dock in Fremantle tomorrow. (Thursday 24/10/18).

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