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Amazon founder airlifted after kidney stone issue

Jeff Bezos was airlifted from a cruise ship by the Ecuadorian Navy on New Year's Day.

Amazon founder and CEO founder Jeff Bezos was airlifted from a cruise ship by the Ecuadorean Navy after suffering a kidney stone issue in the Galapagos Islands on New Year's Day. Picture: www.amazon.com

CHICAGO/QUITO - Amazon founder and CEO founder Jeff Bezos was airlifted from a cruise ship by the Ecuadorean Navy after suffering a kidney stone issue in the Galapagos Islands on New Year's Day.

Ecuador's navy said Bezos was aboard a ship traveling between the islands of Floreana and Santa Cruz, when the attack struck in the mid-afternoon.

A navy helicopter met the ship at Santa Cruz and flew him to his private jet on nearby Baltra Island.

From there, Bezos was flown to the United States for emergency surgery.

The navy said in its statement that Ibarra, as well as the helicopter co-pilot and flight engineer, had received messages of thanks from the relatives and associates of Bezos, whom it described as 'such a prestigious, world famous businessman'.

Bezos is the 19th richest person in the world, according to_ Forbes_ magazine, with a fortune of $25 billion.

Since founding Amazon in his own garage near Seattle in 1994, Bezos has built the online bookseller into the world's largest internet retailer, a consumer electronics giant with its Kindle e-reader and is pioneering 'cloud', or internet-based computing.

Last year, Bezos made a splash when he bought the _Washington Post _for $250 million.