AN operation is currently ongoing in West Cork to bring a woman who fell ill during a whale-watching trip off Baltimore, to Cork University Hospital.
In recent minutes, the Waterford Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117, has taken off from Baltimore, to transfer the patient to CUH.
The woman was on a whale-watching trip when she suffered what paramedics believe was a stroke, and the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat brought her ashore.
A spokesperson for Valentia Coast Guard said that an ambulance which was en route to Baltimore was diverted to a road traffic accident and the emergency services said a second ambulance, from Bandon, would not arrive in Baltimore for another hour.
As a result, the Coast Guard has opted to transfer the woman directly to Bishopstown, where a Coast Guard team are on site at the local GAA club to attend to the patient who will be transferred to Cork University Hospital.
The transfer from Baltimore to Bishopstown takes approximately 15 minutes by chopper.
It is believed the boat was between the Stags and the Kedge when the woman took ill.
This is the second call-out for the Baltimore RNLI in a matter of hours.
Earlier today, one of its volunteer crew members used his lifesaving skills and training to rescue a German national who got into difficulty on another whale-watching trip.
The male was subsequently transfered to CUH by ambulance.