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Roy Wienand, NSRI Durban station commander, said: At 17h06, Thursday, 16 November, NSRI Durban Station 5 duty crew and Netcare 911 ambulance services were activated to prepare to launch to respond to a bulk carrier motor vessel off-shore of the Port of Durban to patient evacuate 2 seamen onboard who were critically injured.

NSRI Durban duty controllers, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) Durban Port Control, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, SA Police Services (SAPS) Sea Borderline Control, a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor and Netcare 911 duty controllers assisted MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) in the logistics and coordination of the urgent rescue operation.

It appears that in rough sea conditions a wave had swept over the deck of the motor vessel reportedly sweeping the 2 crewmen off a ladder who were both unable to hold on against the rush of water causing the men to sustain critical injuries.

Our NSRI Durban STATION 5 duty crew, accompanied by Netcare 911 technical rescue paramedics, launched the NSRI Durban rescue craft Alick Rennie and met the ship 5 nautical miles offshore.

2 NSRI MEX (Marine Extrication) crew and the Netcare 911 technical rescue paramedic were transferred onto the vessel where they assisted the ships medical crew who had initiated medical treatment.

TNPA Durban Port Control were in the process of attempting to arrange for the vessel to enter the Port of Durban without delay due to the critical nature of injuries sustained to the 38-year-old seaman and the 26-year-old seaman, both from Sri Lanka.

Due to the nature of the critical injuries sustained to both men the paramedic requested that they continue to render medical treatment onboard the motor vessel, to stabilize their conditions, rather than risk a patient transfer at sea in the rough 3-to-4-meter sea swells caused by the strong North Easter that had swept through Durban earlier in the day.

The motor vessel was cleared by Port Control to enter the Port of Durban where on reaching a berth the NSRI MEX crew onboard the motor vessel rigged high angle extrication gear and in a technical operation, assisted by the ship's crew, Durban Port technicians, NSRI shore crew and Netcare 911 paramedics, both patients were transferred onto the Quayside and in serious but stable conditions they have been transported to hospital, by Netcare 911 ambulance, where they are receiving ongoing medical care in hospital.

The swift response to the emergency and cooperation of all involved is commended.

The operation completed at 23h37.

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