Photo: NSRI

Mossel Bay - An elderly American tourist has been successfully evacuated from a cruise liner and admitted to hospital in Mossel Bay on the Southern Cape coast after he apparently suffered a stroke on board the liner, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.

NSRI Station 15 Mossel Bay crew were alerted at 8 pm on Friday night by the Western Cape emergency medical services (EMS) metro control of a 73-year-old American man suffering a suspected stroke (cerebrovascular accident) aboard the cruise liner Seven Seas Explorer and near Mossel Bay on the Southern Cape coast, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander Andre Fraser said.

"We began preparations to launch sea rescue craft and By Grace ambulance services dispatched paramedics to join in the operation," he said.

Earlier, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) had been alerted and an emergency medical services (EMS) duty doctor contacted the ship assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services. At the time, the ship was about two hours from Mossel Bay. Its last port of call was Cape Town and it was heading to Port Elizabeth.

NSRI Station 15 Mossel Bay dispatched two sea rescue craft, Rescue 15 and St Blaze Rescuer, accompanied by paramedics from By Grace ambulance services. 

On arrival on the scene 5.5 nautical miles east of Mossel Bay, in 30 to 40 knot northeasterly winds and a three to four metre sea swell, a paramedic and two NSRI rescue swimmers were transferred onto the ship.

"The patient, in a serious but stable condition, was secured onto a stretcher and transferred onto [the] sea rescue craft and brought to shore in the care of the paramedics, and he has been transported to hospital accompanied by his wife," Fraser said. 

African News Agency (ANA)