Sea rescuers in Port Elizabeth evacuate sick fisherman and assist rubber-duck in trouble

31 March 2018 - 13:50
By Timeslive
NSRI rescue boat. File photo.
Image: NSRI via Twitter NSRI rescue boat. File photo.

The National Sea Rescue Institute’s Port Elizabeth crew received two distress calls within an hour on Friday – one to evacuate a sick fisherman from a trawler‚ the other to assist two spear fishermen whose rubber-duck had engine problems and was drifting out to sea.

Ian Gray‚ NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander‚ said that his crew was activated at around 1.15pm on Friday following reports from Noordhoek Control of a rubber-duck with two local male spear fishermen onboard with the boat suffering motor power loss 1.8 nautical miles south of Cape Recife.

“The sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft was launched and on arrival in the area following a brief search the two men were located on their rubber-duck safe and drifting further out to sea.

“A towline was rigged and we towed them to the port of Port Elizabeth without incident and once their boat was recovered no further assistance was required‚” Gray said.

A little more than a half hour later‚ the crew received a call from BLS Medical reporting a fisherman suffering a suspected heart attack on the fishing trawler Umlobi‚ heading towards Port Elizabeth about 13 nautical miles south of Cape Recife.

“BLS Medical and the fishing trawler Umlobi were instructed to alert MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) while NSRI prepared to launch.

“Following a government health EMS duty doctor’s evaluation of the patient by communications arranged by MRCC the NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft‚ having completed the rubber-duck operation‚ took a EC government health EMS rescue paramedic onboard and rendezvoused with the trawler off-shore south of Cape Recife.

“The EMS rescue paramedic and NSRI crew were put aboard where medical treatment was initiated to a 50-year-old fisherman suffering chest pains and he was taken onboard the sea rescue craft and brought to port where‚ in a stable condition‚ he has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance‚” Gray said