Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said; “At midday on Saturday 25 January, NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew were placed on alert to prepare to launch to rendezvous with the 134 meter refrigeration vessel HUAN YU 1, a reefer, en route from Singapore to the Falkland Islands, to casualty evacuate injured crew and to assist in the removal to shore of a deceased crewman, victims of a reported refrigeration gas leak onboard the ship reported to have happened at sea.
“At 21h30, NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF TOFT, accompanied by a Transnet National Ports authority health official, the SA Police Services and EC Government Health EMS paramedics, and rendezvoused with the ship 3 nautical miles off-shore of Port Elizabeth.
“9 patients were taken off the ship, transferred onto our sea rescue craft, and the body of the deceased man was brought onto our sea rescue craft.
“Police detectives boarded the ship to initiate investigations, part of an inquest opened by Police, into the reported gas leak accident that is believed to have caused the death of one crewman and injured 9 crewman of the HUAN YU 1 at sea during her voyage.
“The 9 patients were medically evaluated and treated by the EMS paramedics and they are in stable conditions. They had suffered refrigeration gas inhallation.
“Port Health officials evaluated the safety of the ship.
“The 9 patients and the body of the deceased were brought to the Port of Port Elizabeth aboard our sea rescue craft and the 9 patients were transported to hospital in stable conditions (walking wounded) by EMS ambulance and the body of the deceased man was handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.”
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