Severe weather has been causing chaos on the islands – and in the surrounding seas as a ship steward was airlifted to Western Isles Hospital.
The 45 year old Chief Stewardess of Norwegian supply ship ‘Troms Castor’ was evacuated from the vessel by Stornoway Coastguard helicopter at 11pm on Friday, January 24th.
The ship had been at sea for a month on passage from St Johns, Canada, to Bergen in Norway, and was around 40miles north east of the Butt of Lewis when struck by a huge lump of water in the extreme storms battering the islands that weekend.
The Stewardess was thrown to one side, sustaining a nasty shoulder injury – and in a great deal of pain, she eventually agreed to a medi-vac and transfer to Western Isles Hospital.
She said: “The accident happened some hours before, but I could not take any more pain.
“I was amazed and really thankful at how quick the helicopter was in coming for me.
“In less than an hour from first contact it was overhead with the winchman dangling above the deck as the ship rose and fell in gigantic waves, and in the dark they took good care of me.”
After treatment and discharge from hospital, the Stewardess visited Stornoway Coastguard to thank them and especially the professionalism of the chopper pilot.
While she was in Western Isles Hospital, the casualty also had a surprise visitor.
An ex-shipmate, an Engineering Officer from Lewis on the world’s largest cable laying ship (Lewek Connector) where she had previously worked, read of her predicament on Facebook and asked his wife to visit.
The stewardess also spoke of how impressed she was by the kind care of the medical staff and A&E and Medical 1 ward, saying: “Back home in Norway you can choose which hospital to get treatment in, and if this one was in Norway it would be my choice!”
Once out of hospital, she was looked after by Stornoway Fishermen’s Mission who provided hotel accommodation and arranged repatriation several days later back to her Oslo home.
The Mission’s Superintendent Finlay Macleod added: “In severe pain and unable to endure any more, she finally consented to evacuation, with many worries and concerns when taken to hospital.
“It is hard to describe the gratitude this courageous young lady seafarer from Sweden had for the emergency services.”