Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:
At 21h00, Friday, 17th August, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for medical assistance from a 332 meter VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier), the DHT Lotus, fully laden, passing the South African coastline headed to Singapore, and requiring a 38 year old Indian crewman to be medically evacuated to hospital for an eye injury sustained from unknown causes.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft was launched and rendevoused with the ship, with restricted manouverabilty, 12 nautical miles South of Cape Recife in heavy sea swells of 3 to 4 meters.
NSRI rescue swimmer Patrick Brown was transferred onto the ship, involving a climb with an 11 meter freeboard.
The patient, in a stable condition, was secured into a safety harness and transferred onto the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft.
The transferring of the patient onto the sea rescue craft took 45 minutes in the heavy sea state and the patient was transferred onto the sea rescue craft safely and without incident.
The patient was brought into the Port of Port Elizabeth and he has been transported to hospital in a stable condition.
Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:
At 12h15, Sunday, 19th August, NSRI Ballito duty crew and SRU (Specialised Rescue Unit) were activated following an eye-witness report from a resident in North Beach Road, Umdloti, of a double surf-ski appearing to be taking water approximately half a nautical mile off-shore with both paddlers in the water.
As the teams from Station 41 Ballito and SRU were busy with a combined training exercise in the area , they were rerouted to the scene with 2 jetskis, SRU Rescue 1 and Dream x Rescue 2, operated by coxswains Chris Rawlings And Quentin Power.
Etekweni Council lifeguards were placed on alert.
A backup combined team from SRU and station 41 Ballito responded by road.
On arrival on the scene the surf-ski was located in large surf between Umdloti and the La Mercy lagoon.
The paddlers were in the surf zone and they were assisted ashore by the NSRI and SRU crew and assisted by members of the public and once on the beach they were not injured and in good spirits.
Their surf-ski was recovered.
Etekweni council lifeguards were stood down and no further assistance was required.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE