The Port Elizabeth NSRI attended to two incidents last night whilst you and I were safely and warmly tucked up in bed:
Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said; “At 20h45 on the evening of Sunday, 05th August, our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for assistance from the 10 meter ships supply boat Syncro reporting to be limping back towards the Port of Port Elizabeth after being engulfed by a wave 4 nautical miles South of Cape Recife with 3 crew onboard.
“The vessel Syncro, a ships supply vessel which carries supplies and routine crew rotations out to passing ships on behalf of ships agents, was heading out to sea on a mission to rendezvous and re-supply a passing ship approximately 6 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Recife, in 3 meter swells, when, just 4 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Recife, about 12 nautical miles from Port, she took a wave over the starboard quarters and the wave engulfed the vessel causing cargo to be shifted to one side of the vessel, causing the Port Gunnel to sink to the water line, and causing the Port motor to sustain electrical failure to the motor causing the Port motor to stop working.
“The vessel, listing to one side and lying low to the water mark, then took more waves over her bow and gunnels which swamped the vessel causing her to be swamped by water and lying heavy and low in the water after filling up with water.
“The 3 crewmen onboard fought to save the vessel, which included dumping cargo, which had shifted to the Port side, overboard as part of their efforts to save the vessel.
“After her 3 crewmen managed to restore some integrity to their vessel and while beginning to limp back towards Port, on only her starboard motor, and at the same time pumping water out of the vessel, the Captain of the vessel, as a precautionary measure, put out a request for assistance from Sea Rescue.
“Our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and Eikos Rescuer IV and responded and rendezvoused with Syncro just off-shore of the Port Elizabeth beachfront.
“On arrival on-scene our NSRI rescuers found the vessel listing to one side and lying low in the water but she was making good headway under one motor, in the calmer sea swells inside of the Bay, and we escorted the vessel into Port where she was run onto the beach inside of the Port and her crew and the vessel, although the vessel was full of water, are safe.
“NSRI volunteers then assisted to secure the vessel on the beach and pumped her free of water and then the vessel was re-floated and berthed.
“No injuries were sustained.
“It is suspected that a side-on wave may have caused the initial damage and her crew, skipper John Liverick, and a Mr. Nduzi and William Hennop, all from Port Elizabeth, are commended for their handling of the emergency and for saving their vessel under what must have been trying circumstances.”
Then, at 22h00 on the evening of Sunday, 05th August, NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft to rendezvous with the 255 meter bulk carrier Orient Crusader to casualty evacuate their crewman, 32 year old Oleg Storozhenko, from the Ukraine, who is suspected to be suffering appendicitis.
A request for medical assistance had been received from the ships agent at 18h00 today and NSRI Port Elizabeth were placed on alert stand-by by the Transnet National Ports Authority waiting for the ship, which was due to pass Port Elizabeth, her last port of call was Singapore, to sail closer to land before executing the medical rescue operation.
Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth deputy station commander, said that the NSRI rescue craft Spirit of Toft responded at 22h00 to rendezvous with the ship 6 nautical miles East of Port Elizabeth and on arrival on-scene 2 NSRI crew medics were put onboard the ship and the patient was found to be in a stable condition (walking wounded) and the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to shore and he has been transported to hospital by a Gardmed ambulance in a stable condition where he will undergo further medical evaluation by the St Georges hospital medical staff.