Uploaded onto Youtube today, the dramatic rescue of 17-year-old ‘Kika’ from the MSC Reef yesterday evening shows the exhausted teen required nerves of steel for the last leg of her journey.
She was loaded into a gurney on the deck of the ship, and hoisted up into the Air Force helicopter, accompanied by one of the flight crew members.
According to reports today, the rescue operation took around three hours.
By this time, Kika will have been helped as much as possible by the merchant ship’s crew; she was fully-clothed and carried to the gurney.
The video clip shows her responding to whatever she was told by the Air Force operative with a nod of her head.
The EH-101 Merlin helicopter that ferried the youngster to Faro Hospital was one of two aircraft involved in the search and rescue operation (the other being a C-295M plane attached to Squadron 502) – both of them stationed at the Montijo Air Force base, close to Lisbon.
According to a statement by the Air Force, the rescue was completed by Squadron 751 “Pumas”, around 56 kms from Faro.
Once inside the helicopter, a military nurse monitored Kika’s vital signs and administered first aid, says the statement.
Recovering slowly from her ordeal, the teen is expected to be allowed home within the next 24-48 hours.