Navy's 2,000-mile dash to get medic to remote island
By DAVID WILLETTS, Defence Correspondent
Aid .. HMS Dauntless
A ROYAL Navy ship dashed 2,000 miles — to take a DOCTOR to the world’s most remote island community.
The destroyer HMS Dauntless raced far out into the stormy South Atlantic after a Mayday call from the tiny British outpost of Tristan Da Cunha.
The resident medic had fallen ill — placing the population of 270, half of whom have asthma, in peril. So Dauntless collected a replacement from South Africa and sailed to the rescue.
On arrival the ship’s own on-board doctor,Surgeon Lieutenant Laura Speirs, went ashore to assess her civilian counterpart, who is thought to have had a heart attack.
She arranged for him to be evacuated back to the ship by helicopter while the new doctor replaced him.
The Type 45 destroyer’s skipper Captain Will Warrender said: “It’s exactly the type of task we are in the South Atlantic to do.” The island’s administrator Sean Burns said: “We were so grateful for the appearance of HMS Dauntless in the middle of our winter. I was a worried administrator.”
Tristan Da Cunha was first garrisoned by marines in 1816. The 80 present-day farming families are descended from just 15 settlers and got TV only in 2001.
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