A cruise ship crew member suffering from appendicitis was airlifted to Whangarei yesterday.

The man in his 30s was aboard the ship Noordam as it steamed north-west about 100km off Northland's coastline.

The call for help came about 12.30pm and a crew aboard the Northland Rescue Helicopter including a paramedic responded and flew towards Doubtless Bay before heading out over the ocean.

Co-pilot Steve Johnston said conditions were near perfect with good visibility and light sea breezes.


A paramedic was winched on to the deck with a stretcher and prepared the patient to be lifted.

The winch back to the rescue chopper was successful and the patient was taken to the St John base on Western Hills Drive in Whangarei and delivered to hospital by ambulance.

While the crew were flying to Whangarei they were given a second job after a woman in her 20s fell from a quad bike on Signal Rd, Okaihau.

She was riding on a gravel road and had suffered moderate injuries and had suspected head injuries.