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Titanic Memorial Cruise Delayed after Passenger Suffers Heart Attack

LONDON -- A memorial cruise to commemorate 100 years of the Titanic had to turn back after a cameraman on board suffered a suspected heart attack.

Tim Rex, 56, who was covering the cruise for the BBC, was believed to have received medical treatment on board while a call was made to the Irish Coast Guard just before 3.30pm, the Telegraph reported.

He was said to be walking after the alarm was raised and spoke to family before being taken off as a precaution.

A rescue helicopter from Shannon was sent to the ship, MS Balmoral, which set sail from Southampton at 3pm on Sunday, April 8, stopping off at the Irish port of Cobh.

The original Titanic set off from Southampton on April 10, 1912 and called at Cobh on April 11. It was the last port it called at before the tragedy.

"Unfortunately a BBC staff member was taken seriously ill while covering the cruise to the site of the Titanic. Following advice from the ship's doctors he has been taken ashore to receive urgent medical treatment," a BBC spokesman said.

BBC correspondent Jon Kay, who was also on board, took to his Twitter account to post about his colleague.

"Tim is a dear friend and a great cameraman. He can now watch our coverage from the warmth of dry land! See you soon!" he wrote.

The liner was carrying 1,309 passengers - the same number as sailed on the Titanic - for a 12-night voyage to retrace the route of the famous ill-fated ship.

A memorial service had been planned at the site of the wreckage on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15.

Miles Morgan, Managing Director of Miles Morgan Travel, which chartered the journey, said the ship would go back about 20 nautical miles to get within helicopter range.

Passengers from 28 different countries paid up to 8,000 pounds each for the cruise, which recreated the journey of the Titanic.

The voyage was also due to feature lectures from experts including Philip Littlejohn, the grandson of Alexander James Littlejohn, who survived the 1912 tragedy.

The food was based on dishes served 100 years ago while the five-piece Grupetto band from Belgium were to pay tribute to the musicians on board.

The ship endured bad weather before arriving at Cobh on Tuesday.

"There is a bad feeling on board that maybe the voyage is doomed by bad luck," a passenger reportedly said after docking.



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