British Navy submarine sailor injured off west coast of Ireland airlifted to Irish hospital
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British Navy submarine sailor injured off west coast of Ireland airlifted to Irish hospital

AN injured sailor has been airlifted from a British Royal Navy submarine to a hospital in Ireland by the Irish Coast Guard.

The incident occurred on May 9 when the UK Coastguard and Maritime Agency (UKMCA) requested assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.

The Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 118, was tasked to winch the injured crewman from the submarine, 277km (172 miles) west of Achill Island in Co. Mayo.

A Clare-based rescue helicopter, Rescue 115, also assisted in the mission.

The stricken Royal Navy sailor was winched aboard Rescue 118 and airlifted to Sligo University Hospital. He had suffered fractures to both legs, according to the Clare Herald.

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A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a crew member from a Royal Navy submarine was today airlifted to hospital by the Irish Coastguard.

“Arrangements were made for the airlift through the UK Coastguard in accordance with standard procedures.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further; for security reasons we do not discuss submarine operations and any questions relating to the casualty would be medical in confidence.”

In 2011, a similar incident occurred when the crew of a Shannon-based rescue helicopter airlifted a crew member from a British nuclear submarine off the Irish coast.