Clifford Ireland, NSRI Durban station commander, said:
At 15h31, Thursday, 12th October, NSRI Durban duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for medical assistance from the bulk carrier Bochem Oslo, at anchorage 10 nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Durban, reporting a 39 year old Indian crewman suffering chest pains.
The sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II was launched accompanied by 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.
A Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) helicopter was dispatched from Richards Bay and the helicopter landed at NSRI Durban base where an NSRI Durban rescue swimmer and a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic were taken onboard the helicopter and the helicopter responded to the ship.
On arrival on the scene the TNPA helicopter hoisted the NSRI Durban rescue swimmer and the Netcare 911 rescue paramedic onto the ship where they stabilised the patient.
The patient was hoisted into the helicopter secured onto a stretcher and the paramedic was hoisted into the helicopter and the patient was flown to a Durban hospital, in the care of the paramedic, in a stable condition suffering from a suspected heart attack.
The NSRI Durban rescue swimmer was transferred from the ship down a Jacobs Ladder onto the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and the NSRI sea rescue craft returned to base.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, said:
At 18h36, Thursday, 12th October, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a paddler on a surf-ski overdue and missing after a 38 year old Hout Bay paddler, on a downwind paddle from Millers Point had not arrived at Fish Hoek as expected and now about an hour and a half overdue.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III was launched. The sea rescue craft Spirit of Surf-ski II was prepared to be launched and NSRI Kommetjie prepared to dispatch their sea rescue vehicle to tow the sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines to assist in a search.
NSRI crew were posted at elevated positions along the coastline to search the coastline using binoculars.
An NSRI crew member spotted the paddler floating off-shore of Bullnose, near to Simon’s Town harbour, and the sea rescue craft came upon the paddler shortly after he had been spotted.
He had damaged his own surf-ski in an earlier paddle and had borrowed a surf-ski to take part in the downwind paddle. Unfamiliar with the borrowed surf-ski he kept falling out and eventually became too exhausted to get back into the surf-ski. He drifted for around 4 kilometers tied to the surf-ski before being rescued.
He was rescued onto the sea rescue craft and brought to the NSRI sea rescue base where CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics treated him for hypothermia before he was released requiring no further assistance.
He had been wearing a PIB (Personal Indicator Beacon) which he had activated. This type of beacon only alerts other vessels that are nearby enough to pick up the signal. No vessels were in the area close enough to receive this distress signal.
Earlier today, at 16h30, NSRI Simon’s Town investigated reports of a surf-ski witnessed being blown across the Fish Hoek Bay unmanned.
After it was confirmed that a female paddler had come ashore and was safe and not injured the surf-ski was recovered.
NSRI are urging paddlers, boaters and wind boarders to download the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx cellphone application.
SafeTrx enables users to punch into the app the details of the intended route and a start and an end time and it has a panic button that can be activated in an emergency that alerts MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and gives an exact position of the cellphone.
NSRI RSA SafeTrx can be found on the NSRI web page www.nsri.org.za
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE