Thursday, December 11, 2008
A sailor was recovering in hospital last night after a dramatic air rescue hundreds of miles off Ireland. Four aircraft were dispatched to save the stricken seaman, who fell 40 feet (12m) into the hold of a cargo ship and received head and spinal injuries, the RAF said. Two planes and two helicopters flew to the ship – positioned 600 miles (965km) south-west of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean – to rescue Koko Kline, a Burmese sailor.A Nimrod plane was launched from RAF Kinloss in Scotland and the US Air Force launched a Hercules plane and two helicopters from RAF Lakenheath air base in East Anglia. The sailor was winched into a helicopter off the ship, called the Anna Rickmers, and was flown to Shannon in Ireland, where he arrived about 10.30pm. He was taken by ambulance to hospital in Limerick. An RAF spokesman said he had suffered multiple injuries but was not believed to be in a serious condition.