Injured captain to be airlifted off ship south of Ireland

Other News Materials 2 February 2008 13:27 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - An attempt to airlift a seriously injured captain off a stricken cargo ship south of Ireland was due to resume on Saturday morning after the British Royal Air Force had to abort the effort due to heavy gales on Friday night.

A Royal Navy helicopter from Cornwall, south-west England, was to airlift the man off the Horncliff, which was carrying fruit.

"We want to get this guy off and to hospital," a spokesman for Falmouth coastguard said.

The captain was to be taken to hospital in Cornwall and not Cork, in the south-west of Ireland, as previously planned.

The cargo ship was travelling from the Caribbean to Dover on the south-east coast of England when it encountered a force 10 storm off southern Ireland on Friday.

During the storm the captain sustained serious spinal and internal injuries, while two passengers were also hurt - one with a broken hand and another with head injuries they sustained when trying to fasten containers in the storm.

The Horncliff meanwhile was heading to Falmouth Bay. The other two injured may also be airlifted.