Her departure was delayed by several hours because of severe weather, it is even reported that a life-boat was on hand on the southern Irish coast to offer assistance, just in case, and now it seems she has had to turn back 20 or so nautical miles because a BBC camera-man on board suffered a suspected heart-attack. Mr Rex’ condition is not thought to be life-threatening but the ship’s doctor made the decision that he should receive urgent medical treatment on land.
Tim Rex, 56, was covering the cruise for the BBC. He did receive medical treatment onboard but ultimately the decision was made to inform the Irish Coast Guard. A rescue helicopter was sent to the ship.
A BBC spokesman commented: “Unfortunately a BBC staff member was taken seriously ill while covering the cruise to the site of the Titanic. Following advice from the ship’s doctors he has been taken ashore to receive urgent medical treatment.”
In a statement, the organizers of the memorial cruise said: “The ship is turning around and heading approximately 20 nautical miles east to bring it nearer to the coast and within reach of a helicopter. Fred Olsen and Titanic Memorial Cruises are working with the Irish Coastguard to coordinate the relevant arrangements, and making sure that all agencies involved are being kept informed.”
It really does look like there is a dark cloud hanging over this voyage 100 years since the Titanic took the same route. One passenger onboard is reported to have said “There is a bad feeling on board that maybe the voyage is doomed by bad luck.”
Let’s hope that is not the case and all can continue on with this once in a lifetime experience. I also hope Tim makes a full and speedy recovery.