At midday on Saturday (25th January) NSRI Port Elizabeth crew were placed on alert to prepare to launch to rendezvous with the 134 meter refrigeration vessel HUAN YU 1, a reefer, en route from Singapore to the Falkland Islands, to casualty evacuate injured crew and to assist in the removal to shore of a deceased crewman, victims of a reported refrigeration gas leak onboard the ship reported to have happened at sea.
At 21h30, our crew launched SPIRIT OF TOFT, accompanied by a Transnet National Ports authority health official, the SA Police Services and EC Government Health EMS paramedics, and rendezvoused with the ship 3 nautical miles off-shore of Port Elizabeth.
9 patients were taken off the ship, transferred onto our sea rescue craft, and the body of the deceased man was brought onto our sea rescue craft.
Police detectives boarded the ship to initiate investigations, part of an inquest opened by Police, into the reported gas leak accident that is believed to have caused the death of one crewman and injured 9 crewman.
The 9 patients were medically evaluated and treated by the EMS paramedics and they are in stable conditions. They had suffered refrigeration gas inhalation.
Port Health officials evaluated the safety of the ship.
The 9 patients were transported to hospital in stable conditions (walking wounded) by EMS ambulance and the body of the deceased man was handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.