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Journey of Titanic memorial cruise delayed by medical emergency onboard
LONDON (AP) ' A cruise ship retracing the route of the Titanic had to interrupt its journey on Tuesday because of a medical emergency on board, organizers said.
The Titanic Memorial Cruise, which was on its way to the North Atlantic site where the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank 100 years ago, was working with the Irish Coastguard to arrange for a passenger to be airlifted to a hospital.
"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," organizers said in a statement.
"Once the guest is off the ship for medical treatment the cruise will resume as scheduled," it said, without identifying the person or describing the ailment.
The memorial cruise aboard the MS Balmoral set sail from southern England on Sunday and made a brief stop in the Irish town of Cobh on Monday before continuing on its journey to New York.
The Balmoral's cruise was scheduled to last 12 nights.
The ship, which is carrying 1,309 passengers ' including relatives of some of the more than 1,500 Titanic passengers who died ' seeks to recreate the Titanic experience, minus the disaster. Many passengers, crew members and stewards are dressing in period costumes. Passengers are eating meals from the Titanic's menu, while a live band plays music of the era.
Two special memorial services are to take place over the weekend: The first close to midnight April 14, when the Titanic hit the iceberg, and the second on early April 15, when the ship sank.
The Balmoral is operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company, Harland and Wolff, built the Titanic in Belfast.
AP Titanic Interactive: http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/titanic-100-years/