August 2011 - Fatal polar bear attack on Spitsbergen
The tragic accident, where a British teenager savaged to death by a polar bear on the polar island of Longyearben on Spitsbergen, just happened a few hours ago, when the Control Center of European Air Ambulance got the call, to repatriate one of the severely injured teenagers and one of the trip leaders.
Instantly all preparations started in the European Air Ambulance (EAA) Control Center, the flight plans were established, the crews were informed in order to make sure that the fully equipped air ambulances could leave early Sunday morning direction Tromsø and bring back the young patients to Great Britain.
The two injured survivors, a teenager, 16, and a trip leader, 29, sustained severe head and face injuries in the attack.
The Norwegian emergency services sent right away after the incident a rescue helicopter to the island, to bring the survivors first to the town of Longyearben and then on to the University Hospital of Tromsø where the two patients underwent immediately neurosurgery, as the bear attacked them severely with its paw across their face and head.
Luxembourg Air Rescue, one of the partners of European Air Ambulance (EAA) landed in the early afternoon in Tromsø and the medical crew went straight away to the hospital to pick up the first patient. After a final examination of all vital functions, the medical specialists stabilized and prepared the patient for the flight with the air ambulance to Southampton. The flight went according to schedule and under intensive care supervision without any complications. After landing in Southampton the courageous young patient was admitted to hospital in stable condition by the medical team of EAA.
A second air ambulance, one of DRF Luftrettung, the second partner of EAA was also positioned in Tromsø on Sunday, but the patient, one of the trip leaders was not yet stable to be brought to his home country on the same day. After another night in the hospital in Tromsø, his medical condition improved and he could be repatriated under intensive medical supervision to Great Britain on Monday.