A Syrian crewman had to be airlifted to hospital after he fell aboard a vessel en route to Richards Bay Picture: Netcare911
A Syrian crewman had to be airlifted to hospital after he fell aboard a vessel en route to Richards Bay Picture: Netcare911

Syrian crewman airlifted to hospital after falling aboard bulk carrier

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Feb 3, 2021

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DURBAN - A SYRIAN crewman aboard a bulk carrier en route to Richards Bay, had to be airlifted to hospital after he fell while on the ship.

NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain Jacques Kruger said due to the nature of the injuries sustained, the crewman needed to be evacuated and rushed to hospital.

"Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) co-ordinated the operation assisted by NSRI EOC (emergency operations centre), WC government Health EMS, Netcare 911 ambulance services, NSRI Richards Bay and NSRI Durban duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Port Health Authorities and Transnet National Ports Authority," he said.

Kruger said a sea rescue craft was put on alert and the MRCC arranged for an SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter to carry the patient.

He said the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter departed Durban Air Force Base accompanied by three NSRI Durban airborne rescue swimmers and two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics.

"The helicopter landed in Richards Bay to collect additional gear and to collect an additional Netcare 911 rescue paramedic. On arrival at the vessel, 20 nautical miles off shore, an NSRI rescue swimmer and the two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were hoisted from the helicopter on to the deck of the ship. They stabilised the semi-conscious patient and he was hoisted into the helicopter secured into a Stokes basket stretcher," Kruger said.

The rescue crew were recovered into the helicopter, and in the care of the Netcare 911 paramedics, the patient was brought to a hospital in Richards Bay where he is receiving medical care.

"NSRI Richards Bay crew assisted to establish the landing zone at the hospital. NSRI commend the co-operation between all of the services in the rescue operation. The operation was completed just after midnight," Kruger said.

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