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Successful medical evacuation from Pitcairn Island

Successful medical evacuation from Pitcairn Island

An adult male has been successfully evacuated from Pitcairn Island to hospital in Papeete.

The medical evacuation involved a 335 nautical mile (540 km) trip in an open boat to the island of Mangareva then an air ambulance flight 975 nautical miles (1570 km) to Papeete.

“It is has been a substantial logistics exercise and quite a challenge,” said British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Mrs Vicki Treadell. Mrs Treadell is also Governor of Pitcairn Island.

“The evacuation has involved co-ordination with those on Pitcairn, medical authorities in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, and French authorities in Mangareva and Papeete.

“We have also maintained contact with the two long boats by satellite phone during their trip from Pitcairn.”

The evacuation began late on Friday New Zealand time when the ill adult male was taken on board the island’s long boat “O’Leary”. A second long boat, the “Moss”, acted as a back-up.

“It can be a hazardous sea voyage from Pitcairn to Mangareva. This is especially so for open long boats. However, I’m pleased to say that all went well and both boats arrived safely in Mangareva mid-morning today, New Zealand time.”

The patient and his wife took off in an air ambulance shortly after arriving in Mangareva. They are due in Papeete this evening.

Mrs Treadell said she would like to thank all those involved in the evacuation. “Evacuating someone from Pitcairn can be challenging and on this occasion it involved people spread as far afield as New Zealand and the UK.”

The cost of the evacuation will be borne by the British Government.
ends

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