Sailor lost at sea and two men rescued off Port Alfred  

A 47 year-old Filipino crewman fell overboard offshore of Port Alfred on Sunday and is still missing. Two other crewmen were rescued by East London NSRI.

Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said at 11 am on 15 June volunteer sea rescue duty crew were placed on alert by Transnet National Ports Authority following reports that a 245 meter oil tanker, Alpine Amalia, was searching for the missing Filipino and there were two men on board who had sustained injuries from falling. The tanker was sailing from Singapore to Angola in storm sea swells when the Filipino was washed overboard and the two crewmen were injured.

“The ship was conducting a search operation for the missing crewman and once the search was exhausted the plan was they would head towards East London’s Port to have the two injured crewmen casualty evacuated to hospital by NSRI,” McGregor said.  “NSRI East London and EC Government Health EMS were placed on alert. After the ship could find no sign of the crewman lost overboard, despite an extensive search, the ship headed to East London.

“On 18 June NSRI East London launched the sea rescue craft Spirit Of Lotto accompanied by an NSRI crewman who is also an EMS rescue paramedic, plus by ambulance paramedics. An ambulance was stationed at the sea rescue base.”

The NSRI vessel met up with the ship five nautical miles off-shore of East London, in 24 knot Westerly winds and a 3.5 meter swell. Paramedics and rescue crew treated the Chief Officer for a serious back injury and an Able Seaman for a dislocated wrist, a dislocated shoulder and a knee injury. These men are also from the Philippines and they are believed to be aged in their 40s.

They were medically stabilised before being lowered onto the sea rescue craft in Stokes Basket Stretchers and paramedics continued medical treatment to both patients on our sea rescue craft until it reached port. The men were then taken to hospital

“The Chief Officer is in a stable but serious condition and the Able Seaman is in a stable condition. The SAP opened an investigation into the incident of the crewman missing overboard,” McGregor said.

 The casualty evacuation operation was completed at 10 pm.

(edited)

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