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Port Elizabeth – Wednesday, 24 November, 2010. Patient casualty evacuated at sea and two boats and their crews are rescued.At 04h41 Sea Rescue Port Elizabeth volunteers were called out after a request for medical assistance from the fishing vessel Desert Diamond, reporting a crewman onboard suffering pain in the appendix region.A Metro doctor assessed the patient via radio telephone and believing this to be a patient suffering from appendicitis, the ship was asked to head towards Port Elizabeth to rendezvous with NSRI’s “Spirit of Toft.”The patient was taken onboard our rescue craft and taken to Port Elizabeth where a Guardmed ambulance took the patient, Mr. E. Van der Westhuizen, to hospital in a stable condition. He was taken into surgery for an emergency appendectomy.At 17h32 NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteers were called out after Mr. Christiaanson reported that his three friends, William Smith, Oscar Johansson and Gary Williams, were on a rubber-duck which had gearbox failure 1 mile off Noordhoek. They said that they were drifting towards shore in 3 metre rough sea swells and a 20 knot onshore wind.Spirit of Toft and Eikos Rescuer IV as well as a 4x4 was dispatched to the scene.On arrival they found that the rubber-duck had drifted close to shore, dragging her anchor, but out of the three men that were supposed to be onboard only two were found. One man, William Smith had decided to attempt to swim ashore.Fortunately our rescue crew on the shore in our 4x4 rescue vehicle confirmed that one male had swum ashore.Eikos Rescuer IV rigged a towline to the rubber-duck. A private boat Awesome had also launched to come out to help their friends, but after seeing that the NSRI were already on-scene, they turned around to go back to shore, and ran out of fuel.Awesome was located and our 7.2 metre RIB Eikos Rescuer IV transferred fuel to Awesome. Illuminating flares were used to assist Awesome to get ashore at Noordhoek which is usually a daytime boat launching and recovery slip-way.
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