A 44 year-old Filipino male with a dislocated right arm was evacuated off a bulk carrier in adverse weather by NSRI Bakoven duty crew and taken to hospital.
The NSRI crew were alerted at 7.51 am yesterday, 4 June NSRI and the NSRI Helicopter Rescue Unit was also placed on alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for medical assistance from the 228 metre bulk carrier Torm Isimini, on a voyage past Cape Town. The carrier reported a crewman suffering a suspected dislocated right arm.
It was confirmed that during heavy sea conditions with the ship rolling in the heavy sea swells, on her voyage through the Cape coast, the patient had fallen on board the ship and had dislocated his arm (or fractured his arm).
A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor evaluated the injury by radio phone assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.
An SA Air Force 22 Squadron helicopter, WC Government Health EMS and NSRI Helicopter Rescue Unit were placed on stand-by to prepare for the medical rescue evacuation operation in the adverse weather conditions.
After it was confirmed by the EMS duty doctor that the patient was stable and suffering non life-threatening injury, authorisation for the medical evacuation was handed over to the WC Government Health EMS (Metro Control) for the Skymed AMS (Air Mercy Services) rescue helicopter to carry out the operation when weather conditions improved. The ship was ordered to stand-by in Table Bay approximately 3 nautical miles off-shore of Mouille Point.
At 12.30 pm during a slight reprieve in the adverse weather conditions, the Skymed AMS rescue helicopter, accompanied by a WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI helicopter rescue swimmer, launched on the operation.
On arrival at the ship in 6 to 7.5 metre sea swells and a North Westerly wind gusting to 31 knots, they stabilised the patient and secured the patient into a specialised hoisting bag and the patient was safely hoisted into the helicopter and brought to shore (at the Red Cross Childrens Hospital landing zone). They were met by a Netcare 911 ambulance and the patient was taken by ambulance to hospital in a stable condition.
The NSRI commends the co-operation between multiple rescue agencies and the Skymed AMS rescue helicopter for successfully completing this rescue operation in adverse weather conditions.
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