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Bay Shore man airlifted to hospital during Ireland vacation

An Irish Coast Guard crew rescued Christopher Dell'Isola of Bay Shore, after he injured his knee while hiking on Ireland's remote Aran Islands on March 21, 2017. (Credit: Conor Hartnett)

A Bay Shore man was airlifted to a hospital after fracturing his kneecap while hiking in a remote area of Ireland.

Christopher Dell’Isola, 31, traveled to Ireland on Monday with some of his co-workers from the Mary Carroll’s restaurants located in Huntington and Babylon. They were celebrating the Babylon location’s 20th anniversary, according to owner Conor Hartnett, a native of Limerick.

On Tuesday, the group went on a hike through the Aran Islands, located off Ireland’s west coast, to see the Worm Hole, a naturally formed rectangular pool of water.

After hiking for about two hours, Dell’Isola, a bartender at the Huntington location, slipped on the slick surface near the Worm Hole and fractured his patella, Hartnett said.

“We were in probably one of the most inhospitable, remote parts of Ireland, so we realized we didn’t have many options,” Hartnett said. “He’s a big man and it was so slippery we couldn’t move him.”

Hartnett ran with some of his employees toward a nearby village to find cell service and called for help. About 20 minutes later, a helicopter arrived. An Irish Coast Guard rescue crew from the Aran Islands strapped Dell’Isola onto a stretcher and lifted him up to the aircraft.

“We were rocking back and forth on that stretcher,” Dell’Isola said. “It was quite the experience.”

He was taken to Galway University Hospital for treatment, and is now recovering stateside, Hartnett said.

“I was just blown away by such an incredibly efficient and speedy rescue,” Hartnett said. “We thought we were in an area where it takes so long to reach us, and 20 minutes later, here’s this helicopter that gave us this peace of mind very quickly.”

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