At 07h51 on Wednesday the 4th June, NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew and the NSRI Helicopter Rescue Unit were placed on alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for medical assistance from the 228 metre bulk carrier TORM ISIMINI, on a voyage past Cape Town at the time, reporting a crewman, a 44 year old Filipino male, to be suffering a suspected dislocated right arm.
It was confirmed that during heavy sea conditions with the ship rolling in the heavy sea swells, on her voyage through the Cape coast, the patient had fallen onboard the ship and had dislocated his arm (or fractured his arm).
A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor evaluated the injury by radio phone assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.
An SA Air Force 22 Squadron helicopter, WC Government Health EMS and NSRI Helicopter Rescue Unit were placed on stand-by to prepare for the medical rescue evacuation operation in the adverse weather conditions but after it was confirmed by the EMS duty doctor that the patient was stable and suffering non life threatening injury, authorisation for the medical evacuation was handed over to the WC Government Health EMS (Metro Control) for the Skymed AMS (Air Mercy Services) rescue helicopter to carry out the operation when weather conditions improved. The ship was ordered to stand-by in Table Bay approximately 3 nautical miles off-shore of Mouille Point.
At 12h30, during a slight reprieve in the adverse weather conditions, the Skymed AMS rescue helicopter, accompanied by a WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI helicopter rescue swimmer, launched and on arrival on-scene, in 6 to 7.5m sea swells and a North Westerly wind gusting 31 knots, both the NSRI rescue swimmer and the EMS rescue paramedic were hoisted from the helicopter onto the ship where they stabilised the patient and secured him into a specialised hoisting bag. The patient was safely hoisted into the helicopter and brought to shore (at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital landing zone) where they were met by a Netcare 911 ambulance. He was then transported by the Netcare 911 ambulance to the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in a stable condition for further treatment for a suspected dislocated right arm.
NSRI commend the cooperation between multiple rescue agencies and the Skymed AMS rescue helicopter for successfully completing this rescue operation in adverse weather conditions.