At around midday on Wednesday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Elizabeth duty crew and the NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) were alerted by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a sailor injured aboard a Japanese line fishing trawler, Koei Maru 88.
“MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) had arranged a Government Health EMS duty doctor to medically evaluate the patients condition by radio telephone and the patient was suffering a head injury (avulsion) and a neck injury (abrasions) after reportedly falling overboard onto a gangway,” described Andy Connell, NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) station commander.
“The duty doctor deemed it necessary to patient evacuate the casualty, a 22 year-old Indonesian sailor, at the earliest opportunity. The trawler, sailing from Cape Town to Durban, was instructed to head towards the nearest Port (Port Elizabeth) and NSRI’s ASR and NSRI Port Elizabeth were activated.”
Connell said that an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Charlie Flight helicopter was tasked and two NSRI ASR rescue swimmers and an EC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic were airlifted aboard the SAAF helicopter at 15h45 and they rendezvoused with the trawler 9 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Recife.
“NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew remained on high alert throughout the operation. Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with radio communications,” he described.
“On arrival on the scene an NSRI ASR rescue swimmer and the EMS rescue paramedic were winch hoisted aboard the deck of the trawler and they stabilised the patient before he was winch hoisted into the helicopter secured into a Stokes basket stretcher. Medical treatment was continued aboard the helicopter en route to hospital in Port Elizabeth.
“The patient was airlifted to hospital in Port Elizabeth where he was handed into the care of hospital staff in a stable condition for further treatment.”
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