Memorial voyage: Emergency on the Titanic - ship turns back to shore as passenger falls ill


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The Independent Online

At least it was not an iceberg. The cruise liner retracing the route of the Titanic was yesterday forced to make an emergency change of direction – after a BBC cameraman was taken ill.

The MS Balmoral, which is sailing across the Atlantic with 1,309 guests on board to mark the centenary of the infamous sinking, performed a seaborne U-turn and headed due east in order to bring it within range of a helicopter being sent from the Irish Republic to fly 56-year-old Tim Rex to hospital. However, the BBC said he was being taken to hospital on merely "precautionary" grounds. Colleagues said his condition was not life threatening and he spoke to his family prior to the airlift.

Titanic Memorial Cruises, the company organising the voyage, insisted the vessel would resume its journey towards New York once the evacuation had taken place.

Organisers hope to arrive at the spot where the Titanic sank on 15 April to coincide with the moment when the liner hit an iceberg.