A 74-year-old woman with heart problems died aboard a private air ambulance bringing her home to Sweden from the Canary Islands via Knock Airport, an inquest was told today.
The deceased, Marianne Edith Rossby Ahlstrom, Osterskar, Sweden, died 20 minutes into the mercy flight, while the Tyrol Air Ambulance was off the west coast of Africa on February 18 last.
The air ambulance was flying first to Knock as there was a second patient, an Irishman, aboard.
Mr. Patrick O'Connor, Coroner for Mayo, at an inquest in Castlebar returned a verdict of death from natural cases after hearing from a pathologist that Ms. Ahlstrom died from acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
A post mortem examination was carried out at Mayo University Hospital before the cremated remains were transferred onward by air to Sweden.
The coroner explained that an airline captain with a just deceased passenger on board is normally obliged to land at the nearest airport but due to the fact he was carrying a second patient he continued to Knock in order to ensure the safety of that patient.