Clifford Ireland, NSRI Durban station commander, said: At 15h45, Sunday, 27th May, NSRI Durban duty crew were placed on alert by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to prepare to patient evacuate an injured Filipino fisherman from the fishing vessel FU KUO No. 101 that was heading towards Durban from deep sea and expected to be 50 nautical miles off-shore by Monday mid afternoon.
In communications between MRCC, the ships agent and the fishing vessel and a medical assessment made by a Government Health EMS duty doctor, it was determined that the patient, suffering a knife wounds to the stomach, was in a serious condition and a patient evacuation to be carried out as soon as possible.
On Monday morning, the NSRI sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II launched, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic, on reaching 30 nautical miles out to sea and with sea conditions found to be too rough to risk a medical patient transfer at sea by boat the FU KUO No. 101, at that stage 50 nautical miles from Durban, were informed to continue towards Durban Port at best speed.
TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) activated their Marine Pilot Services helicopter.
At 17h23, a TNPA Marine Pilot Services Augusta A109 helicopter, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic, responded and rendezvoused with the fishing vessel 11.4 nautical miles off-shore of Durban.
On arrival on the scene, in rough seas with a 2 to 3 meter swell and strong winds exceeding 40 knots, the rescue paramedic was hoisted onto the fishing vessel and medical treatment commenced to the fisherman who was then secured into a Ferno stretcher and hoisted into the helicopter.
Medical treatment continued in the helicopter and the patient has been airlifted to a hospital in Durban in a serious but stable condition where he is to undergo surgery.
The rescue operation was completed at 19h00.
Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus station commander, said:
At 09h00, Monday, 28th May, NSRI Hermanus duty crew launched the sea rescue craft South Star to launch a search for 2 fishermen from Hawston, aged 29 and 32, reported by family to be overdue from fishing on a 4.2 meter rubber-duck.
Despite an extensive search in rough sea conditions no sign of the fishermen has been found. It could not be determined where they had expected to be fishing and an extensive search covered from Gansbaai to Betty’s Bay.
Coastwatchers remain on alert along the coastline.
On Sunday, 28th May, NSRI assisted Police in an ongoing search operation for a missing fisherman off-shore of Gansbaai.
No sign of the fisherman, who went missing earlier in the week, has been found and a Police Dive Unit are continuing a search operation.