File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - A bulk carrier ship master is being treated in a Durban hospital after suffering a traumatic injury reportedly sustained in a fall on board a ship near the Port of Richards Bay. 

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) station 19 Richards Bay co-ordinated the patient evacuation off the ship on Thursday. 

Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said that at 11am the duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for a patient evacuation of the Master of a Bulk Carrier approaching the Port of Richards Bay.

According to Wikipedia the master, or sailing master, was a historical rank for a naval officer trained in and responsible for the navigation of a sailing vessel. A sea captain, ship's captain, captain, master, or shipmaster, is a high-grade licensed mariner who holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant vessel. 

Kruger said the sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II was launched accompanied by two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.

"We rendezvoused with the ship off-shore of the Port of Richards Bay. The NSRI crew and the rescue paramedics boarded the ship finding the Ships Master suffering a traumatic injury reportedly sustained in a fall. He was in a serious condition,"Kruger said.

An SA Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter was activated from Durban to assist in the patient evacuation operation before being stood down en route to the scene. The TNPA Port Control secured a berthing for the ship to enter port and berth immediately.

"The patient was stabilised onboard the ship by the rescue paramedics while entering the port. On entering the Port the patient was transferred from the ship to the Netcare 911 ambulance and secured into a stretcher. He was transported to hospital in Durban in the care of paramedics in a stable condition,"Kruger said. 

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Telkom Maritime Radio Services, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), WC Government Health EMS and NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) assisted in logistics, coordination and communication during this operation.

Daily News