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EASTERN CAPE Wednesday 28th March 2012.At 08h20 NSRI St Francis Bay volunteer duty crew and the SA Air Force 15 Squadron – Charlie Flight were placed on alert following a request for assistance from the long range fishing vessel Amalia, 46 nautical miles off St Francis Bay on a heading towards land with an ill crewman onboard reportedly suffering weakness from an unknown cause.At 08h50 NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were asked to launch Spirit of St Francis II, accompanied by a paramedic, to rendezvous with the ship.While the NSRI rescue craft was responding the patients condition deteriorated and a SAAF 15 Squadron Charlie Flight helicopter was scrambled, accompanied by 2 NSRI rescue swimmers and a 24/7 paramedic.On arrival the paramedic and an NSRI rescue swimmer were winched onto the ships deck and on reaching the patient, below decks, found that he had passed away.The body of the 36 year old crewman was airlifted to a Port Elizabeth hospital and handed into the care of the Police.The cause of death is unknown.
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