Quentin Botha, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said:
At 11h19, Saturday, 04 May, NSRI Table Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for medical assistance from a bulk carrier in Table Bay reporting a crewman on board suffering a dislocated shoulder.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom and Spirit of Day were launched accompanied by 2 WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics and rendezvoused with the ship at Anchorage 2 in Table Bay.
In relatively rough sea conditions, 2 NSRI rescue swimmers and an EMS rescue paramedic were transferred onto the ship using the Pilots ladder. The crew from our rigid inflatable boat Spirit of Day were transferred onto the rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom to assist with a technical high angle hoisting operation while the sea rescue craft Spirit of Day stood by on the scene as a safety stand-by boat.
NSRI Melkbosstrand, who were on the water aboard the sea rescue craft Rotary’s Gift at the time, also stood by on the scene.
The patient, a 45 year old Filipino sailor, was found to be walking wounded and the EMS rescue paramedic secured his left arm into a sling guarding his dislocated left shoulder. He reportedly sustained the injury in rolling seas which caused him to fall with the force of his body weight onto his left shoulder.
In a technical rescue operation a high angle rope system was rigged and the patient was secured into a hoisting harness. Assisted by the Pilots ladder, the patient was lowered onto our sea rescue craft and into the care of the 2nd EMS rescue paramedic.
Our NSRI and EMS crew were transferred back onto our sea rescue craft, and without incident, the patient was brought to our sea rescue station in a stable condition and has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance for further care.
Earlier, at 07h45, NSRI Table Bay and NSRI Melkbosstrand launched sea rescue craft following eye witness reports of a single crewman sighted on a small rubber duck in rough seas between Table View and Robben Island and concerns were raised for his safety.
The sea rescue craft searched for the rubber duck at sea, NSRI rescue vehicles searched along the shoreline and members of Cape Towns Boating Network and ships at anchor in Table Bay, at the request of NSRI and assistance from Telkom Maritime Radio Services and the the TNPA Port Control, kept a lookout.
The rubber-duck and her 23 year old local skipper was found safe off-shore of Table View and although in no imminent danger NSRI escorted the boat to OPBC (Oceana Power Boat Club) without incident and assisted the skipper to recover his boat and no further assistance was required.
NSRI encourage anyone launching any kind of craft onto the ocean to have a safety conscious mind set and be prepared for an emergency:
Check out the weather forecast and the expected sea conditions ahead of time and be prepared.
Download and always use the free smartphone app NSRI RSA SafeTrx. Carry safety equipment – a plastic referee whistle, cellphone fully charged in a water tight sleeve with the sea rescue emergency phone numbers programmed into your phone, Marine VHF handheld radio in a water tight sleeve, red distress flares and know how to use them, a waterproof torch with fresh batteries, and wear your life-jacket while your craft is underway (children should wear properly fitting childrens life-jackets). Also let a responsible person know your launch time, your intended route, and stick to your plans, your estimated return time and check-in with the responsible person on your safe return.
Have an action plan in place if you fail to return as scheduled – the responsible person should not hesitate to contact sea rescue.