St Francis Bay NSRI rescue injured fisherman at sea.

St Francis Bay NSRI volunteer duty crew assisted in the rescue and evacuation of an injured fisherman 25 nautical miles offshore on the 58 meter trawler, RIGEL IV.

Spirit of St Francis II to the rescue
Spirit of St Francis II to the rescue

The 30 year-old Cape Town crewman was pulled overboard after his foot caught in a rope while deploying crayfish traps overboard. It is believed he was pulled into the sea by the rope, then pulled underwater by a descending crayfish trap.
“Marc May, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, said at 7.30 pm NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following a request for urgent medical assistance from the Cape Town crayfish trawler, reporting a a crewman on board to be suffering severe injuries
“The crayfish trawler was in deep-sea deploying crayfish traps, May said. “The crew reportedly were able to cut one of the lines of the descending crayfish trap and then used the line fouled around the fisherman’s leg to haul him back up to the sea surface and he was then recovered back onto the trawler.
“The man had sustained a serious fracture of his left femur and was suffering near drowning symptoms and lapsing in and out of consciousness. The vessel immediately headed towards St Francis Bay and our NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis Bay was launched to rendezvous with the vessel.
May said they met up with the vessel 18 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay, in rough seas of 4.5 meter swells. Two NSRI medics were transferred aboard RIGEL IV where they found the semi-conscious patient in a serious condition.
“An EC Government Health EMS ambulance was dispatched to stand-by at our sea rescue base. Crew of the vessel had rendered First-Aid treatment and our NSRI medics continued with medical treatment,” May said.
He recounted that sea conditions were too rough to risk transferring the patient across to the NSRI sea rescue boat and so the sea rescue team instead escorted the trawler towards St Francis Bay while the two NSRI medics stayed on board the trawler to render medical treatment.
Once the trawler neared St Francis Bay sea conditions improved and the patient was transferred onto the NSRI rescue boat and he was brought to to the sea rescue base at the Port and handed into the care of the EMS paramedics.
“The patient has been transported by EMS ambulance to hospital in a serious condition suffering unconsciousness near drowning symptoms and a fractured left femur. It was reported by the ship’s Captain that the fisherman had been wearing all safety apparel at the time of the incident, a hard hat, gloves, a life-jacket and protective wear.
“The skipper and crew of RIGEL IV are commended for rescuing their crewman from the water in what appears to have been extremely trying circumstances, “ May added.
The sea rescue operation was completed at 11.30 pm.


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