Durban ship's pilot falls off crude oil tanker after rope ladder snaps
A Transnet National Ports Authority ship's pilot fell off a crude oil tanker after a rope ladder snapped at the Durban port on Tuesday.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Durban station commander Jonathan Kellerman said a rescue team was dispatched at 7.45am after the 35-year-old man fell off the vessel while disembarking before it departed the port.
Kellerman said the cause of the rope severing was “undetermined”.
“In an effort to avoid injury to the man, the pilot vessel Lufafa veered away from the ship when the incident occurred, allowing the man space to push away from the ship and swim free from the ships draft in an effort to avoid being sucked into the ships propellers,” he said.
Lufafa's crew rescued the man and took him to T Jetty, where they were met by paramedics.
“He was treated for mild hypothermia and as a precaution he has been transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition for further medical evaluation. He is expected to fully recover,” said Kellerman.
“The immediate reaction of the skipper and crew of the pilot vessel Lufafa and the calm and deliberate actions taken by the casualty after he fell into the water contributed to his survival and they are commended.”
Kellerman said the incident would be investigated by authorities.