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Romanian sailor airlifted to hospital

A 45-year old Romanian sailor was flown from a tanker to Mater Dei Hospital today after suffering a suspected heart attack.

The sailor, Adrian Burtedy, was winched onto an AFM Alouette helicopter from onboard the Conti Humboldt, which was 14 miles off Malta's east coast.

The rescue was the first conducted by newly-qualified rescuer Gunner Steven Xuereb, who was winched down onto the tanker to stabilise the casualty before both were winch-hoisted back on board the rescue-helicopter.

Apart from specialising in First Aid, helicopter operations, and other life-saving skills, AFM rescuers must also be able to stabilise a casualty for transport by air to medical facilities.

Last July, six AFM soldiers were qualified as rescuers after completed a year- long course, bringing the total number of rescue-jumpers within the AFM up to 16.

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