Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said:
At 17h30, Wednesday, 18th October, NSRI were alerted by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of a crewman reported to be critically injured with injuries and fractures to both legs and both thighs onboard the bulk carrier MV Grand Amanda approximately 189 nautical miles off-shore of the East Coast and re-routing towards East London.
A Government Health EMS duty doctor had provided medical advice to the ship’s crew to aid in treating the patient and unfavourable sea conditions and the distance ruled out a helicopter patient evacuation and the ship was diverted to head towards nearest Port.
While efforts were underway to arrange a helicopter patient evacuation for first light the following morning the TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) Pilot boat transported Dynamic ambulance services rescue paramedics to the vessel once she was closer to the Port of East London but extremely rough seas and gusting to 50 knot Easterly winds prevented paramedics from boarding the ship.
NSRI Durban, NSRI Port Elizabeth, NSRI ASR, the TNPA Port Helicopter and both the SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron and 15 Squadron Charlie Flight remained on alert throughout the night in the event weather and sea conditions subsided to allow for a helicopter rescue effort.
Medical kit was able to be transferred aboard the vessel during the night and NSRI East London made ready again at 05h00 on Thursday morning, despite a wind direction change to Westerly winds gusting to 40 knots, to attempt to board the ship at sea but prior to launching it was confirmed that sadly the patient succumbed to his injuries and passed away during the early hours of the morning.
Sincere Condolences are conveyed to shipmates, friends and family of the deceased man.
SEA RESCUE COMMUNICATIONS