File picture:A 32-year-old fireman has died shortly after rescuign four people from a ship docked at the Durban Harbour.

Durban - A Transnet National Ports Authority fireman has died after failing to recover from a rescue mission on Monday evening in which four people were rescued from a ship in Durban harbour.

Four painters had been trapped in a confined space in the hull of the MSC Carlo, which was docked at Berth 202 in Durban harbour.

The Ports Authority Durban spokeswoman Zama Mncwabe said the men had been issued with a confined-space permit to carry out painting.

“The Master of the MSC Carla reported that seven contractors were working in the area, that three had exited the confined space and that four were unconscious.”

ER24 spokesman Andre Visser said that rescue workers were sent into the tanks with specialised rescue and breathing equipment.

The contractors were suffering from breathing difficulties and received supplemental oxygen and treatment before being taken hospital.

After the rescue, fire and emergency crews were checked and accounted for.

“A debriefing was conducted and all was in order,” said Mncwabe.

At 4.50am on Tuesday, when the crews reported to the duty office to hand over the shift, it became apparent that one of the fireman was not well.

Mncwabe said Samuel Ngomane was taken to King Edward VIII Hospital and admitted to the trauma unit.

The 32-year-old died soon after being admitted. His cause of death is not yet known.

Mncwabe said Samuel’s family had been notified and trauma counselling had been arranged for the family and his colleagues that were working the shift when he died.

“Transnet National Ports Authority would like to express its deepest condolences to the family and salute Samuel Ngomane for the 10 years of diligent service that he gave to the organisation,” said Mncwaba. - The Mercury