Seriously unwell crewman arrives in Bluff

Antarctic Discovery arrives in Bluff yesterday. Photo: Giordano Stolley
Antarctic Discovery arrives in Bluff yesterday. Photo: Giordano Stolley
The fishing boat crewman whom Southern Lakes Helicopters was sent to evacuate to Southland Hospital arrived in Bluff yesterday morning, aboard the vessel he had been working on.

The 55m Antarctic Discovery detoured to bring the man, a New Zealander from the South Island who had a medical event and was in a serious condition, to hospital.

Australian Longline Pty Ltd managing director Malcolm McNeill, speaking from Hobart, said it was a moment of pure horror when he heard the Southern Lakes Helicopters helicopter sent to evacuate the crew member had crashed.

''We were thinking the worst.

''It was a bit of a solemn moment when I came into the office in the morning and relayed it to the staff in the office here.''

When they heard the three men on board the helicopter were alive it was another jolt.

''It was an amazing kind of sensational rush I guess I had.

''Talking to the skipper it was very emotional for the guys in the boat.

''But saying that, it doesn't matter how we felt - nothing compares to the how those guys and their families felt.''

He declined to release the fishing crew member's condition last night.

Antarctic Discovery would wait at Bluff until a replacement crew member joined the ship.


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