Night time operation to save ill cruise passenger

Dunbar’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers evacuated a seriously ill passenger from a passing cruise ship in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The station was asked to go to the aid of a 75-year-old Australian man on board the cruise ship MS Eurodam after it’s captain asked coastguards for help.

The station’s all weather lifeboat, currently a relief vessel while their usual boat is undergoing routine maintenance, left Torness at 2.20am on Tuesday to rendezvous with the cruise liner off Dunbar.

Coxswain Gary Fairbairn said: “Because of the nature of the call we asked for assistance from the station’s medical advisor Dr Neil Black and he was bought out to us in the inshore lifeboat along with an ambulance service paramedic.

“When the casualty was transferred to us he was slipping in and out of consciousness. It was a tricky operation getting him from the enormous cruise ship and onto the lifeboat.

“His wife and luggage came off with him. Fortunately the weather was fairly calm because it was a long way down from the cruise ship to us alongside.”

Dr Black and the paramedic treated the man as the lifeboat raced back to Dunbar harbour where he was met by a waiting ambulance and taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Gary said that they later heard the man was responding well to treatment and was able to sit up in bed and speak to nurses looking after him.