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Cape Town - Sea rescue volunteers and helicopter services sprang into action on Sunday to evacuate two ill sailors from ships passing Cape Town.
The crew of the oil tanker SKS Douro were concerned when one of their mates suddenly became paralysed from the waist down, for no apparent reason.
The master of the ship alerted maritime authorities in Cape Town, who activated the National Sea Rescue Institute helicopter rescue unit and paramedics about at 1pm, said NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon.
The Douro was sailing from India to Brazil and changed course to come closer to Green Point to allow for a rendezvous with a helicopter. The ill sailor was transferred to hospital by air.
While this was taking place, another team of sea rescue volunteers were called out by the Ports Authority when container ship Maersk Conakry reported an injury to one of its crew. A 23-year-old Indian sailor appeared to have broken his hip and ankle in a fall. He was transferred to shore by boat and admitted to hospital.