The Hawke's Bay Rescue Helicopter service was brought into an emergency involving a cruise ship off the east coast of the North Island.
According to helicopter service general manager Ian Willmott, the ship, which has around 1500 passengers and a crew of nearly 580, was cruising around East Cape when the service was alerted at about 3:00 a.m.
A Filipino crew member was reported to have suffered a stroke.
The helicopter with a couple of pilots, a crewman (winch operator) and an intensive care paramedic flew to Gisborne airport in order to take on extra fuel, as a safety measure, and met with ms Maasdam ten nautical miles east of Gisborne.
The paramedic was then lowered on to the deck to secure the patient on a stretcher prior to winch retrieval to the helicopter, ahead of a flight of 40 minutes to Hastings where the mission concluded at about 5.30 a.m.
Further details on the condition of the patient have not been released.
For other ms Maasdam accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.