Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, said:
At 11h45, Thursday, 24th May, NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for urgent medical assistance from the local fishing trawler Ouma reporting a 50 year old local fisherman onboard seriously injured after getting caught in a hydraulic winch while at fishing grounds.
The skipper of Ouma made the urgent request for medical assistance in radio VHF communications to Telkom Maritime Radio Services reporting that they were 41 nautical miles South West of Hout Bay and they had started making their way landwards.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services instructed the Ouma to head towards Hout Bay while alerting the TNPA Port Control.
Sea conditions were rough with strong winds.
The NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer and Albie Matthews were launched accompanied by a WC Government Health EMS doctor and an EMS rescue paramedic.
MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) placed the SA Air Force 22 Squadron and the NSRI Airborne Sea Rescue (ASR) on high alert but heavy weather did not favour an airborne sea rescue operation at that stage.
The NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft Albie Matthews was first to arrive on the scene rendezvousing with the Ouma 30 nautical miles off-shore and NSRI medics initiated treatment to the injured fisherman suffering a dislocated shoulder, head injury and arm injuries.
On the arrival of the sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer the EMS doctor and rescue paramedic were put aboard the Ouma and the patient was stabilised but in a critical condition and medical treatment continued onboard the Ouma while continuing to make her way to Hout Bay making slow progress in the rough seas with an estimated arrival time of over 2 hours.
As weather conditions eased the EMS doctor requested the patient be airlifted and a SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter was dispatched with the NSRI ASR squad.
The patient was transferred onto the sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer with the assistance of the sea rescue craft Albie Matthews.
On the helicopters arrival on the scene, 25 nautical miles off-shore of Hout Bay, the patient, secured into a specialised stretcher, and the EMS crew, were hoisted into the helicopter and medical treatment continued in the helicopter and the patient was airlifted to Groote Schuur hospital in a serious but stable condition where he has been taken into the care of hospital staff.
NSRI commend Telkom Maritime Radio Services for their assistance with VHF radio communications relay during the rescue operation.
The operation was completed at 17h00.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE