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GRANDMOTHER DROPPED INTO ARCTIC OCEAN

Thursday April 21st, 2011
GRANDMOTHER DROPPED INTO ARCTIC OCEAN DURING RESCUE.

A rescue attempt off the coast of Norway almost ended in tragedy when a grandmother was dropped overboard into the Arctic Ocean by paramedics. 73 year-old Janet Richardson was being transferred from a cruise ship onto another boat after suffering internal bleeding.

Mrs Richardson was enjoying a cruise with her 78 year-old husband George when she was taken ill. Paramedics were moving her from the Ocean Princess to a smaller vessel when the two boats moved apart and the stretcher slipped from their grip. Mrs Richardson was plunged into the freezing water where she remained for four minutes before being hauled out and taken to hospital at the nearby Norwegian town of Bodo.

Chris Coates of Cruise and Maritime Voyages said, 'Our heartfelt sympathies are with Mrs Richardson and her family after what must have been a traumatic experience... We have been in regular contact with the Richardson family throughout her recovery and we are encouraged to hear that Mrs Richardson is now back in the UK and we wish her a speedy recovery... We would like to reassure all of our passengers that health and safety is of paramount importance to Cruise and Maritime Voyages... And we will of course be co-operating fully with the investigation, which is still ongoing.'
The Penrith pensioner is currently in intensive care at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary after being airlifted to the UK.
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