Durban - A 60-year-old Russian crewman was rushed to a Durban Hospital for treatment after he took ill on board a crude oil carrier out at sea on Tuesday.
Craig Lambinon, a spokesperson for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), said that at 4.30am NSRI Durban duty crew accompanied by ER24 rescue paramedics launched the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie to rendezvous with a crude oil tanker approaching off shore near the Port of Durban to evacuate a Russian crewman from the ship reported to be suffering a medical emergency.
"On arrival at the scene a NSRI rescue swimmer and an ER 24 rescue paramedic were transferred onto the ship. The patient was stabilised and placed into a stokes basket stretcher. Using the the ships crane in a technical rescue operation the patient was transferred onto the NSRI rescue craft. The patient was brought safely to shore. He had been transported via ER 24 ambulance to a Durban hospital in a serious but stable condition for further medical care," Lambinon explained.
The operation was completed by 7.30 am.
The NSRI is currently the only maritime rescue service operating in South African territorial waters and, although most rescues are coastal and inshore, an increasing number of these operations require search and rescue vessels with advanced capability in technology, and the ability to safely increase the endurance of the crew further out to sea.