NSRI Durban evacuates Chinese man from tanker, also rescues injured man man at the beach

-Edited by Bev Mortimer- It was a really busy morning for NSRI Durban on Sunday 16 April, when the NSRI volunteer duty crew evacuated an ill Chinese crewman at sea after requests to assist at 8 am and then attended to another medical emergency at the beach around 11 am.

First off, NSRI Durban evacuated an ill Chinese crewman on board a tanker at sea, brought him to shore and organised an ambulance to take him to hospital.The NSRI says NSRI Durban duty crew responded to reports of a Chinese crewman, who had sustained a medical complaint onboard a 300 meter MV crude oil tanker.Telkom Maritime Radio Services, a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), Police Sea Borderline Control, NSRI Durban duty controllers, Netcare 911 duty controllers assisted MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) in logistics and coordination of the medical evacuation.

The NSRI rescue craft Alec Rennie, accompanied by Netcare 911 rescue paramedics met up with tanker 4 nautical miles offshore of Durban’s Breakwater and transferred the 49 year-old patient, walking wounded, but in a stable condition, onto the rescue craft, assisted by an NSRI rescue swimmer and a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic, who accompanied the NSRI to the tanker so as to assess the patient and aid in the transfer. The patient was brought to the NSRI Durban rescue station and transported to hospital for further care.

Then a few minutes before 11 am, NSRI Durban duty crew and Netcare 911 ambulance services were again activated by NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) to respond to a medical emergency near to the Cuttings Beach, Bluff side, Durban. A man had sustained a serious injury in a fall during a hike and the NSRI had to race against time with a high tide fast approaching.

The NSRI Durban rescue vehicle, was accompanied by a NSRI CROC (raft stretcher), for use if the patient needed to be floated across the canal. The NSRI rescue vehicle and Netcare 911 paramedics negotiated barely accessible terrain to reach the local adult man. Tyre pressure on the NSRI rescue vehicle was dropped to 0.8 bars to assist the rescue vehicle to successfully negotiate the soft sea sand conditions encountered.

NSRI rescue vehicle negotiating the high tides

The rescue vehicle reached nearby to the man and then rescue crew hiked barely accessible steep and jagged rocky terrain to reach him. Netcare 911 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) dispatched a Fidelity Helicopter who deployed 2 additional rescue paramedics onto the scene by air. NSRI crew and Netcare 911 paramedics are commended for their swift treatment that they delivered under trying circumstances to the seriously injured man.

NSRI and paramedics attending to the injured man at the beach

Paramedics stabilised the patient before he was secured into a stretcher and transported aboard the NSRI rescue vehicle roof, secured to the roof racks, in the care of 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics who were also stationed on the roof. This was considered the best and most plausible solution under the circumstances to beat the rising tide to successfully evacuate the patient off the beach and negotiate the incoming wave sets .

The rescue vehicle, expertly driven along the beach, by NSRI Durban’s Alex Rogers, met up with the Netcare 911 ambulance and the patient was transported to hospital by ambulance in a serious but stable condition.

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