Sick woman rescued from Leeuwin voyage

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

A woman taking part in a training voyage on the sailing ship Leeuwin II was taken to Bunbury Hospital overnight after rescue crews were called to the vessel to help.

Bunbury Sea Rescue received a call about 6.30pm yesterday with reports the woman was sick and needed medical attention.

The Leeuwin was about 90km off Bunbury’s coast.

The ship — which was in the middle of a week-long voyage — started making its way towards Bunbury and rescue crews met the vessel off the coast about 1.30am today.

Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation chief executive officer Carol Shannon told the South Western Times the incident was “very straight forward”.

“One of our trainees became unwell and our procedure is to land someone as soon as we can,” Ms Shannon said.

“We were in constant contact with our medical officer and it was our officer’s suggestion to get her in.

“So it took them about 12 hours to get in and she safely landed this morning.”

Ms Shannon said she was unaware of the woman’s condition, but understood it was not serious and she was “in the best hands”.

The Bunbury Sea Rescue crew brought the woman back to its base where paramedics were waiting to transport her to hospital.

Skipper Brett Ladhams said the woman appeared to be in good spirits and the early morning rescue was a successful one.

“We were alerted to the incident earlier in the night but given the ship was travelling under its own power we were content to let it get closer to Bunbury before deploying our crew,” Mr Ladhams said.

“The RAC Rescue Helicopter was also called but given the sea state and extensive rigging of the ship it would have been too dangerous to winch the patient off.

“We escorted the ship from about 5km offshore into calmer water and rafted alongside before taking the woman back to our base where the ambulance was waiting.

“She seemed in good spirits but mentioned how grateful she was to be going in.”

Ms Shannon also said she was grateful for the rescue crew and paramedics’ “fantastic” support.

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