At 13h49, Friday, 04th March, NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) were alerted by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of a pending sea rescue operation to patient evacuate an Indian sailor, age 20, suffering a compound fractured left ankle and laceration, reportedly sustained when a piece of metal fell on the sailor, from the bulk carrier Genco Commudus, sailing from Chile to Bahrain and due to be off-shore of Port Elizabeth later in the day.
The incident reportedly happened aboard the ship at approximately 11h45 the same day and the ships Captain alerted MRCC.
It was deemed necessary for the patient to be evacuated off the ship at the earliest opportunity and the bulk carrier, passing by the South African coast at the time, was diverted to head towards the nearest Port (Port Elizabeth).
NSRI ASR duty crew prepared for the operation and an SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight BK-117 helicopter was made ready and an EC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic was activated.
NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were placed on alert.
At 15h11 the rescue operation commenced and the SAAF 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, helicopter, accompanied by two NSRI ASR rescue swimmers and an EMS rescue paramedic rendezvoused with the ship 19 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Recife in 4 to 5 meter swells and a 30 knot South Easterly wind.
An NSRI ASR rescue swimmer was winch hoisted from the helicopter onto the ship and the patient was found to be in a stable condition with the compound fracture and laceration of his left ankle in dressings and splints and the patient was winch hoisted into the helicopter with the rescue swimmer and medical treatment was continued by the EMS rescue paramedic inside the helicopter en route to hospital in Port Elizabeth.
On landing the patient was transferred into an EMS ambulance and he has been transported to hospital in a stable condition for further treatment.