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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Obese tourist airlifted from ship
Rescue helicopter
A rescue helicopter took the man to hospital
An obese American tourist who fell ill on a cruise ship had to be carried off by helicopter.

The man, who weighs 32 stone (203kg), was on board a luxury five star cruise ship anchored in the Firth of Forth when he suffered gastric problems.

Forth Coastguard assessed the situation and felt it was necessary to airlift him from the vessel.

It called in an Sea King rescue helicopter to winch the man off the boat before carrying him to hospital.

The Sea King helicopter was stationed at RNAS Prestwick.

Emergency surgery

After winching the sick man from the Century Cruise Liner, run by Celebrity Cruises, it flew him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where fire crews were on standby to transfer him into the building shortly after 0600 BST on Saturday.

He later received emergency surgery, and was said to be recovering in hospital.

A spokesman for Forth Coastguard said the man had visited the ship's doctor, who recommended that he was evacuated after his condition worsened.

The cruise ship, which costs more than 1,000 per head, was thought to be en-route to Norway and the Fjords when it had to drop anchor in the Forth near Hound Point.

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