An injured and trapped man at the bottom of a cargo hold was rescued yesterday by NSRI Port Elizabeth voluntary duty crew who set up a technical rescue rope system to reach him .
The man sustained injuries after the ladder he was on gave way, causing him to plunge 25 meters to the bottom of the hold.
Marcus Oshry, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty controller, said at 8.05 pm the PE NSRI duty crew were activated by reports from the Bid Freight Port Operations of a fallen worker, injured and trapped in a cargo hold, on board the Nicolaas L at a berthing in the Port Elizabeth Port area. “The worker, a 44 year old Port Elizabeth man, was standing on a ladder inside the hold while cleaning the hold due to be filled with fertiliser.
“Our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded and the Nelson Mandela Bay Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services, Guardmed ambulance services and representatives of Bid Freight Port Operations also responded,” Oshry said.
After the NSRI set up the technical rope rescue system Fire and Rescue services took over coordination of this operation. Paramedics and rescue crews were lowered down to the patient using the technical rope access system. This was a difficult operation as there was no high point above the hold to use as an anchor for the ropes.
The patient, suffering a pelvic and lower back injury, was stabilised by paramedics and secured into a stokes basket stretcher, lifted out of the hold and lowered over the side of the ship to the quayside. He was then loaded into a waiting ambulance and transported to hospital in a stable condition for further treatment.
“The patient is expected to make a full recovery . The rescue operation was completed by 10.30 am,” Oshry added.
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