Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:
At 16h00, Thursday, 25th May, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to prepare for the arrival of the cargo vessel Zonda to evacuate a 29 year old seaman to hospital suffering hip and back pain following a fall onboard the vessel.
The patient, a 29 year old Indian seaman, was being treated in the ships medical room and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and Telkom Maritime Radio Services had facilitated the Government Health EMS duty doctor to evaluate the patients condition by radio telephone.
The patient had fallen reportedly from a 6 meter height onboard the vessel earlier in the day suffering hip and back injuries and the duty doctor deemed it necessary for the patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible and the ship, at that stage 62 nautical miles from Port Elizabeth, was diverted to head towards the nearest Port and due to be off-shore of the Port of Port Elizabeth at approximately 18h00.
NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV at 18h10 accompanied by an EC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic and rendezvoused with the ship 4 nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Port Elizabeth.
On arrival at the ship the EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI technical rescue team were transferred onto the ship and treatment of the patient, suffering hip and back pain, continued and the patient was secured into a Stokes basket stretcher while the technical rescue team rigged an extrication platform to transfer the patient from the ship to the sea rescue craft.
The patient, medically stabilised, was transferred onto the sea rescue craft from the ship secured into the Stokes basket stretcher using technical high-angle rigging and ropes.
Once safely on the sea rescue craft we brought the patient into Port in the care of our NSRI crew and the EMS rescue paramedic and the patient has been transported to hospital in a stable but serious condition by EMS ambulance.