Article by Bev Mortimer
NSRI St Francis, Station 21, evacuated a 29 year-old ill crewman on a trawler, 14 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay, on Wednesday this week, in an almost two-hour operation.
Sara Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, said the ill man, who was suffering from a medical complaint, needed to be seen by a doctor.
The NSRI dutty crew were activated at 5.59 am following a request for the patient to be evacuated for medical assistance in hopsital from the skipper of the Cape Town stern trawler.
The MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), Telkom Maritime Radio Services, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and a Government Health EMS duty doctor assisted with logistics and coordination of the patient’s evacuation to hospital. An abulance service was also alerted.
The NSRI crew launched the station’s sea rescue craft, Spirit of St Francis II, and met up with the fishing trawler. The patient was transferred onto the rescue craft, medically assessed by NSRI medics and then transported to the station in St Francis Bay’s private port where he was taken by ambulance to hopsital in a stable condition. The operation was completed at 7.54 am.
Meanwhile in Jeffreys Bay, NSRI volunteer duty crew members went to the assistance of a surfer in difficulty at Magnas later the same day, 27 November.
Enie Schmidt, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty controller, said just after 5 pm NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a surfer in difficulty behind the back breakers at the popular beach and surfing spot, Magnas.
The NSRI volunteer duty crew launched the sea rescue craft, Waverunner, and NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene. On arrival at the beach an NSRI rescue swimmer found a man on a surfboard seemingly stuck in rip currents behind the back breakers. A member of the public had launched his surfboard to assist.
The NSRI rescue swimmer grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy, stationed on a pole at Magnas, and swam in the surf to reach the casualty, who was ‘swum-out’ of the rip current safely back to shore, reaching the shoreline just as Waverunner arrived.
NSRI medics assessed the local man and he required no further assistance. He was uninjured and confirmed he had been caught in rip currents.
The NSRI HO says this brings to 50 the number of persons assisted using an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy.