American Tourist Airlifted from Cruise Ship in Whitsundays

RACQ CQ Rescue has landed on the deck of a 311-metre cruise ship in the Whitsundays today to transfer an injured American tourist to hospital.

The Mackay-based rescue helicopter was tasked just after 10 am that a passenger, a 68-year-old woman from North Carolina, was believed to have fallen down stairs aboard the Voyager of the Seas and sustained a broken pelvis.


The Royal Carribean cruise ship, which departed Sydney last Wednesday and was only four days into a 14-day voyage to Singapore, was anchored offshore at Port of Airlie.

RACQ CQ Rescue, with a doctor and Critical Care Paramedic on board, arrived at the scene and orbited the huge cruise ship before landing on the helipad about 11 am.

An RACQ CQ Rescue crewman said the service’s Bell 412 helicopter landed on the front of the massive ship and remained running, rotor blades still turning, while the doctor and paramedic boarded the vessel and went below deck to assess and retrieve the injured patient.

RACQ CQ Rescue flew a total of 110 nautical miles to transfer the tourist to Mackay Base Hospital, arriving before 1 pm with the patient in a stable condition.