An injured Chinese sailor is reportedly in a stable condition after he was rescued by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Wednesday afternoon in a rescue operation that lasted four hours.
According to Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, at around 12:00, the NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were alerted following reports of a sailor injured aboard the container vessel, M/V Thuringa, passing deep sea 60 nautical miles off-shore of Port Elizabeth at the time, sailing towards Hong Kong, and diverted to head towards Port Elizabeth’s Port following the incident.
“The SA Air Force were placed on alert and a Government Health EMS duty doctor, after evaluating the patients condition by radio phone, confirming that the 42-year-old Chinese patient reportedly struck by sheet metal on the chest from an accident onboard where it is believed that the sheet metal shifted and fell onto the patient and the patient reported to be trapped and unconscious with breathing difficulties, the duty doctor requested NSRI and rescue paramedics to be dispatched immediately and the seriously injured patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible,” described Gray.
“NSRI Port Elizabeth launched the sea rescue craft, Eikos Rescuer IV, accompanied by an Eastern Cape Government Health EMS rescue paramedic and rendezvoused with the vessel 11 nautical miles from the Port of Port Elizabeth.
“The EMS rescue paramedic and NSRI medics were put aboard the vessel where they found the patient suffering serious chest injuries, breathing difficulties and semi-conscious, in a confined space on the ship and the ships crew had already been able to remove the metal sheets, which had freed the patient from the entrapment.
“The EMS rescue paramedic, assisted by NSRI medics, medically treated the patient onboard and the patients condition was stabilised.”
Gray said that the patient was secured into a Stokes basket stretcher and a high angle rigging platform was rigged on the vessel and using high angle rescue rigging and rope the patient was lowered onto the sea rescue vessel and brought into Port and he has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a serious but stable condition.
“The rescue operation was completed at 16h54.”