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Tim Rex, 56, who was covering the cruise for the BBC Photo by: REUTERS

SOS medical emergency aboard Titanic centenary cruise

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Tim Rex, 56, who was covering the cruise for the BBC Photo by: REUTERS

The MS Balmoral, the Titanic centenary cruise ship  was forced to turn around on Tuesday due to a medical emergency on board. This second setback comes just days after the ship was battered by high winds and 30-foot waves while en route to Cobh, County Cork, crossing the Irish Sea.

Just hours after the ship had set sail from Cobh the ship’s captain announced their journey would be interrupted as one of the 1,309 passengers was suffering a medical emergency. Relatives of Titanic passengers are on board the ship.

The gentleman in his 50s, a BBC journalist, who is yet to be identified, is believed to have suffered a heart attack. His condition is not life-threatening. It is believed the journalist was on board the ship in a professional capacity.

The managing director of the travel company directing this memorial cruise, Miles Morgan, said "The passenger's condition is not thought to be life-threatening," according to Guardian reports.

The cruise is scheduled to last 12 nights, arriving at the point in the Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic sank. In the early hours of the 15th April 1912 they planned to hold a memorial service for the more than 1,500 who lost their lives.

Morgan was unable to say whether these two delays would mean the cruise would be running behind schedule.

The ship returned towards Ireland so that the journalist could be airlifted to safety to receive necessary medical attention.

Rachael Jackson, public relations manager for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, told MSNBC on Tuesday "The ship is turning around and heading approximately 20 nautical miles east to bring it nearer to the coast and within reach of a helicopter…Fred. Olsen and Titanic Memorial Cruises are working with the Irish Coast Guard to coordinate the relevant arrangements, and making sure that all agencies involved are being kept informed."

The journalist was taken to hospital in Tralee according to RTE.

A statement issued by Miles Morgan Travel, on Tuesday, said “The safety and wellbeing of all guests and crew is paramount, and this decision has been made in conjunction with Titanic Memorial Cruises, as charterer of Balmoral for this voyage. Once the guest is off the ship for medical treatment the cruise will resume as scheduled."

Here's BBC footage from the Balmoral earlier this week:

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