An Irish Coast Guard helicopter has successfully winched a casualty from the MS Balmoral.

The ship left Cobh, Co Cork, this morning for its journey across the Atlantic, retracing the last journey of the Titanic.

A man in his 50s, who was part of a BBC film crew onboard, suffered a suspected heart attack this afternoon.

The vessel was 190km west of the Irish coastline when the helicopter crew winched the cameraman up at 7pm.

The BBC reported that it was for “precautionary medical reasons”.

His condition is said to be stable and he has to be brought to hospital in Tralee for observation.

The MS Balmoral is continuing its journey. Representatives of more than 28 countries are on board.

BBC presenter Jon Kay wrote on Twitter: "We can confirm that the man taken off the #Titanic cruise-ship by rescue helicopter tonight is a 56-yr-old BBC cameraman. Precautionary."

He later added: "Tim Rex spoke to his family before being taken off for precautionary medical reasons. The #Titanic cruise now continues to the wreck site."

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

A BBC spokesman said: "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 spokeswoman for Fred Olsen, which is running the cruise, said that the ship had to turn around and make a 20 nautical mile detour in order for Mr Rex to be airlifted off.

She added: "At Fred Olsen and Titanic Memorial Cruises the safety and well-being 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."