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Antarctic cruise ship stroke victim stable

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/01/2017

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the medical evacuation of a 66-year-old woman from a cruise ship in Antarctic waters.

The Netherlands-national was on board the MV Ortelius, which was located in the Ross Sea, off the Antarctic ice shelf, 3,600km south of New Zealand, when the RCCNZ received the call for help.

She is in a stable condition and it's suspected she suffered a stroke.

The MV Ortelius got as close as possible to McMurdo Station, the US Antarctic research centre, 620km from the ship's original position.

The woman has been taken by helicopter to McMurdo where she will stay overnight before being put on a regular scheduled flight to New Zealand on Wednesday.

The RCCNZ is responsible for the search and rescue of a region which covers 30 million sq km, stretching from Antarctica almost to the equator.

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