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NSRI Durban duty crew and Netcare 911 ambulance services were placed on alert at 07h26, Tuesday, 5 April, to prepare to meet a motor vessel bulk carrier later in the day off-shore of the Port of Durban to patient evacuate 6 crewmen aboard the motor vessel suffering a medical condition. Additionally, a 28 year old Mossel Bay fisherman is reported to be well on the road to recovery in hospital, with his family by his side, following serious injuries sustained in a fire onboard a fishing vessel.


Clifford Ireland, NSRI Durban duty coxswain, said:

Arrangements were being prepared by the ships agent following correspondence between MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor, Port Health authorities, Police Sea Borderline Control, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), NSRI Durban duty controllers, Netcare 911 duty commanders and TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority).

At 15h00 our sea rescue craft Alec Rennie and Spirit of Surfski 6 were launched accompanied by 4 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.

On arrival at the vessel, in unfavourable sea conditions with 3 meter swells, the rescue paramedics and NSRI rescue swimmers were transferred aboard the vessel.

Patients were medically assessed by the paramedics and advanced medical treatment was initiated.

In a challenging rescue technical transfer operation 5 of the patients, in stable conditions, were transferred off the motor vessel onto our sea rescue craft using life-jackets, protective gear and safety lines and 1 patient, in a serious but stable condition, secured into a Stokes basket stretcher, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft.

In the care of the paramedics they were brought to our NSRI Durban rescue base and all were transported to hospital in Netcare 911 ambulances.

The 5 adult Filipino patients and 1 adult Mozambican patient, in the care of doctors and nurses in hospital, are expected to make full recoveries.

The transfer operation on the scene took just over 3 hours and the operation was completed and closed at around 20h00.

Our NSRI crew, the Netcare 911 paramedics and the ships crew are commended for the successful operation under trying conditions.


Sheryll Grobler, NSRI Gqeberha duty controller, said:

NSRI Gqeberha were activated activated at 05h30, Sunday, 3 April, to patient evacuate the fisherman from the fishing vessel that was headed towards the Port of Port Elizabeth from fishing grounds South of Gqeberha.

Crew onboard the fishing vessel had contained and extinguished the onboard fire.

Our sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft rendezvoused with the Mossel Bay fishing vessel off-shore of the Port of Port Elizabeth and NSRI medics were transferred onto the fishing vessel where they continued with medical treatment that had been initiated by the patients fellow crewmen.

In a serious but stable condition the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to our NSRI Gqeberha rescue base where medical treatment was continued in our medical room.

Netcare 911 ambulance services responded and in the care of paramedics the patient was transported to hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance.

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