A 78-year-old man who suffered a serious medical episode at sea north of Maningrida was winched aboard CareFlight’s Top End Rescue helicopter and flown to hospital late yesterday afternoon.

The man was aboard the cruise accompanied by friends and heading from Sydney towards Darwin when he became ill and found himself in urgent need of emergency medical assistance. He was initially treated by the ship’s doctor before CareFlight was called to help.

CareFlight, operating the Top End Medical Retrieval Service on behalf of the Northern Territory Government, tasked the Top End Rescue helicopter with emergency doctor and nurse aboard shortly after 1.30pm.

Once over the ship, about 165km offshore, CareFlight’s helicopter hovered overhead and lowered a flight nurse aboard. The man was then winched aboard the aircraft to be cared for by the medical team.

The man was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital in a serious but stable condition.