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RNAS Culdrose team turns helicopter into air ambulance

BBC Radio Cornwall

Casualty being airlifted
Royal Navy

A Merlin helicopter more familiar with hunting submarines had to be turned into a "mobile intensive care unit" when it went to the aid of the pensioner with pneumonia in the Carribean.

The RNAS Culdrose team on board HMS Ocean was scrambled to airlift the frail pensioner to safety when medics on Dominica were unable to treat him due to storm damage.

With no electrical power, medication or even fresh running water in the infirmary, the elderly man was not expected to survive the night.

The helicopter landed close to the hospital, the medics stabilised the patient and the Merlin made the short return flight to HMS Ocean, which had been dispatched to the Caribbean as part of the UK's military response to hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria.

The patient and his wife spent the night aboard the Plymouth-based warship before being flown by the Merlin crew to Barbados - hub of the hurricane relief effort - for onward transport to the UK.

Medical evacuation to HMS Ocean
Royal Navy
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